SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 15, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — The recent photo of a Utah Highway Patrol trooper appearing to pause in prayer at the site of an I-80 rollover accident was shared by tens of thousands people on social media.
But what was really happening in front of the lens is not what people might think.
Trooper Shawn Peppers told Gephardt Daily he was surprised and a little bewildered when his wife told him his image was being shared on the Internet.
He was even more surprised when he started getting some good-natured ribbing from fellow troopers, including one who kiddingly knelt before him prior to the start of our interview.
It wasn’t until Peppers saw the photo which appeared on Gephardt Daily’s website that he realized what all the “sharing” was about.
The trooper explained while it may look like he was deep in prayer, he only went to his knees to avoid the rotors of a medical helicopter which was preparing for take-off.
And Peppers says the reason he placed his hands over his eyes was not because of some deeply seated need for prayer and introspection, but to shield them from blowing dust and debris.
Peppers says it’s not that the job of a law enforcement officer doesn’t create cause for reflection from time to time, but when there’s an immediate issue of public safety, the first call is to duty.
To hear more about what was happening as the photo was taken, including images from the UHP, click on the video player below.