ELK MOUNTAIN, Wy. — Dramatic dash cam video released by the Wyoming Highway Patrol reminds drivers of the importance of following highway wind advisories.
The video shows a semi truck driver traveling westbound on I-80 near Elk Mountain. A gust of wind suddenly blows the truck over on top of a police car, which was parked on the side of interstate responding to another crash.
“Our troopers were already in the same area working on two other semi trucks that had blown off the interstate,” Wyoming Highway Patrol Lt. Kelly Finn tells EastIdahoNews.com. “Fortunately nobody was in the police car or it would have been a lot worse.”
Finn says wind gusts were nearly 70 mph around 3 p.m. Tuesday when the crash occurred. A high wind advisory was in effect prohibiting commercial vehicles on I-80 between Rawlings and Laramie.
“We’re seeing less and less compliance from these trucking companies when these wind advisories are out,” Finn says. “They’re in a hurry and taking chances and it’s dangerous.”
Wind advisories have been in place on this portion of I-80 for nearly two weeks, according to Finn. When gusts reach 40 mph, a high wind warning is posted. When gusts reach 60 mph, I-80 is closed to high profile vehicles.
“We’ve had wind gusts reach 90 mph and trucks are still out on the road,” Finn says.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol posted the video on its Facebook page Friday morning. Within hours, it had been viewed nearly 800,000 times and shared over 27,000 times.
“All we ask is that you please follow high wind advisories and closures when you are traveling in our great state…even if you plan to travel at reduced speeds,” the Facebook post says. “Hopefully this video illustrates why.”
Nobody was injured in the three semi crashes but Finn says it’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt if drivers continue to ignore warnings.
“I am so lucky right now that I have not lost two troopers,” Finn explains. “We can’t keep relying on luck. We have to get people to follow these advisories.”