SALT LAKE COUNTY — Utah Highway Patrol troopers were still trying Wednesday to track down the driver responsible for a wrong-way crash Saturday night on the I-215 west belt.
A dash camera, rolling inside a Hyundai Sonata that was struck, showed a light-colored truck brake move out of the way of a black Dodge Ram, which was traveling against traffic in the southbound lanes near 4700 South.
The black truck was then seen and heard in the video colliding with the Sonata, which also collided with a Nissan Pathfinder.
“I just see headlights and I thought, ‘Well someone’s just going the wrong way,’” recalled Sunny Mallick, the driver of the Sonata. “My split-second move was just to steer to the left to try to avoid it, and that’s when that wrong-way driver just made impact with my vehicle.”
Mallick said he didn’t fully realize what had happened until after the crash was done.
“You always read about that, but you never think that will happen to you,” Mallick said.
Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Jalaine Hawkes said the driver of the black truck was not found at the scene. Marijuana and drug paraphernalia were discovered inside the vehicle.
Utah Highway Patrol troopers were still trying Wednesday to track down the driver responsible for a wrong-way crash Saturday night on the I-215 west belt. (KSL TV)
Investigators located the owner of the truck, but Hawkes said the man told them he had allowed a friend to borrow it for an hour.
Troopers were still looking for that friend as of Wednesday evening, Hawkes said. Everyone involved in the crash avoided serious injury.
Mallick said he limped afterward but has since recovered.
“They were just like, ‘You’re lucky to be alive,’” he recalled.
Mallick said he installed a dash camera inside his car last fall following a fender-bender in which all drivers disagreed about what took place, but he never expected the ‘next time’ to be an unexpected wreck with a wrong-way truck.
He pleaded with would-be drivers who are impaired or distracted to not get behind the wheel in the first place, and he cautioned all other drivers to be careful.
“Always make sure you’re alert and prepared for everything,” Mallick said.