Magic Valley, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Wind gusts reached 66 miles per hour on the Hansen Bridge Monday, while the Perrine Bridge weather station reported gusts of 55 miles per hour.
In a span of just a few hours, four semi trucks rolled over on these structures, due to the high wind. The incidents forced the closure of these bridges for hours at a time.
A scary situation for these drivers battling the treacherous conditions.
And a terrifying sight for motorists passing by.
Hansen resident Kelly VerWey had just crossed the Hansen Bridge after nearly missing a collision with a semi. He pulled over to collect himself.
But then he spotted a semi truck having difficulty, blowing over onto the Hansen Bridge.
VerWey adds, "so after seeing it, I drove onto the bridge and try to help, help the driver who was pinned against his door and steering wheel...Eventually I dropped down from what is now the top of the truck, but the window that would be in the sleeper, I broke that and dropped myself to be with the driver and kicked the window out from the inside. Other people were able to get him free and get him out."
This is the aftermath of the first rollover crash Monday morning near the Hansen Bridge. Just a couple of hours later, law enforcement and emergency crews re–opened the bridge, but as you can see, another semi rollover accident, another reason they closed the bridge once again.
Troopers came in on their day off to help assist at these crashes, detectives, fire, paramedics, everyone working together...a multi–agency effort to help safety prevail.
Capt. Rob Storm, Idaho State Police says, "were working with the transportation department to warn truckers through the use of social media to stay away, stop your trucks and stay away until this wind advisory passes."
"Weather like this is really trying for everybody, travelers, and highways workers on the roadway, trying to keep our roadways open, snow, high winds, the rough conditions we see in southern Idaho," adds Nathan Jerke, Idaho Transportation Department.
As for VerWey, he's concerned the severity of the situation could have been worse.
"How tragic would that be if it was a school bus, any kind of a bus, any of these are in danger of going over the side in high winds," adds VerWey.
There's high wind advisory signs with wind socks on the bridges to warn drivers of high wind areas. There are no flashing lights at this time, however such a safeguard could be discussed in the future.