SAFETY

Wyoming man is happy to be alive after crashing into an elk

Sep 9, 2020, 7:48 PM
(Dash cam photo taken right before the crash.  Credit: Michael Sepos)...
(Dash cam photo taken right before the crash. Credit: Michael Sepos)
(Dash cam photo taken right before the crash. Credit: Michael Sepos)

EVANSTON, Wyoming – An Evanston man is happy to be alive after a dangerous crash with an elk that occurred over the weekend on I-80 in Summit County.  Michael Sepos caught the accident with his dash-camera and says it shows how dangerous an animal-involved crash can be.

 

Sepos and his wife were driving home to Evanston from Riverdale Saturday night, and the trip had been uneventful until he was less than 20 miles away from his house.  Then, out of nowhere, the dash-cam video shows an elk standing in the left lane of I-80; Sepos didn’t have time to react.

(Sepos showing reporters the portion of antler that broke through his windshield and hit his face. Credit: KSL TV)

“Within about half a second after the impact, you can hear the brakes squealing.  I hit the brakes pretty quick,” Sepos said.

The car almost does a complete 360 and ends up blocking a portion of the eastbound lanes of traffic.  Sepos is thankful the car didn’t roll since he believes their injuries would have been more severe if that happened.  He also says they feel lucky they didn’t go further off the road, since there was a ten-foot drop off the right shoulder.

However, he says his wife started to panic after seeing his face covered in blood.

Sepos said, “I didn’t know I was bleeding or anything until [after].  It happened so fast, I didn’t feel any of the stuff happening.”

Sepos later learned one of the elk’s antlers broke through the windshield and hit him in the chin.  Despite the serious impact of the crash, he only had a cut on his chin and a lump on his head.  His wife was not seriously hurt.

(Sepos showing his scar to reporters. Credit: KSL TV)

“The only place [the antler] hit me was the place it could have done the least damage.  An inch higher or an inch lower, it probably would have killed me.  So, miracles all around,” he says.

Sepos believes there were a lot of small miracles that came together to protect him and his wife.  He says they were fortunate to be around so many good samaritans that helped push the wreckage of their car off the road while traffic was still running at freeway speeds.

He says, “I’m OK.  Really.  For me, personally, I see the Lord’s hand in so many ways.”

Officials with the Utah Highway Patrol say intense weather patterns, like what we witnessed, Tuesday cause animals to migrate, bringing them to lower altitudes and closer to roadways. 

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Wyoming man is happy to be alive after crashing into an elk