Well, that’s one way to do it!

A California Highway Patrol officer apparently decided to take matters into his or her own hands yesterday afternoon after a traffic collision left a car flipped onto its roof in the middle of State Route 299 a couple miles east of Willow Creek. 

Tracy Hocking posted a longer version of the above video last night to a Humboldt County Facebook group.  She can be heard laughing at the unusual sight of a CHP SUV acting like a plow. “I don’t even know what to say,” Hocking comments in the video. “I’ve never seen this.”

According to LoCO’s CHP Watch, no one was injured in the incident. We reached out to ask if this technique is standard procedure. We’ll update if we hear back.

And please be careful out there! The roads are icy.

UPDATE, Tuesday, 9:45 a.m.: We heard back this morning from CHP Public Information Officer Paul Craft, who explains:

This is a normal and common thing for an officer to do. Most of our patrol vehicles are equipped with push bumper and it is not unusual for an officer to push a vehicle off the road.

It is typically based on several factors: occupied or not?, size of the vehicle, roadway condition/location (curves, ice, heavy rain or fog restricting view by other vehicles).

In this situation, based purely off looking at the video, I see that the vehicle is overturned in a curve and the road looks icy/wet. The officer pushed the vehicle off to the shoulder to prevent more collisions and ensure the safety of the involved parties, the officer, and the other motorists on the road.

Whenever there is a collision that occurs which leaves lanes blocked, the first priority is the safety of the involved parties. In this case, it appears everyone was out of the vehicle and the scene was safe.