Sunday, July 23, 2006

Why is He Here?

What's wrong with this picture?

Here is a picture of Utah just east of the Nevada State line on US 50. It is known as "the loneliest route in America," with good reason.

The reason you haven't read anything here lately is because I was on an extended road trip around the Southwest.

So why is a Utah Highway Patrol officer standing in my vista shot?

He was investigating a one-car rollover pickup truck accident.

It was 12:20 pm. It appeared that the accident may have occurred under the cover of darkness and no one noticed it until first light. These kinds of accidents happen with some degree of regularity in the West where the closest town may be more than 80 miles away.

There were three officers and a sergeant at this scene. It must have taken them a couple of hours for all of them to arrive, even running full speed, with lights and sirens.

There were a couple of heavy skid marks that swerved off the road. I could not tell what the cause of the accident was; whether the driver swerved to avoid wildlife or livestock on the road or if it was falling asleep, awakening and finding themselves heading into the opposing lane then over-correcting and driving off the pavement and subsequently rolling over. Result, it was a bad accident.

Utah is one of the few states that openly admits to the problems of drowsy drivers and encourages them to do something about it.

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