Neighbors want interchange improvements after fatal Mountain View Corridor crash
HERRIMAN, Utah – As police piece together their investigation and consider criminal charges in the fatal three-vehicle crash on Mountain View Corridor Monday night, neighbors have demanded safety improvements.
A baby girl was killed and a 3-year-old and 5 adults were hospitalized, including the driver. After that crash, neighbors and investigators have taken a closer look at the intersection.
Police were reconstructing the crash at the intersection of Mountain View Corridor and Rosecrest, and waiting on toxicology results from the driver, which could take a couple of days, before they come up with specific charges.
They were still trying to determine whether the driver, 26-year old Lawrence Probert of Kearns, was speeding and whether he ran a red light before plowing into an eastbound and a westbound vehicle at the intersection.
Probert is still in serious condition in the hospital.
“There’s been too many lives lost,” said Britney Mendel, who lives in a neighborhood east of the busy roadway.
Mendel and her Herriman neighbors know some of the victims. They said the crashes need to stop at the intersection, and they want safety improvements, such as flashing lights ahead of the intersection to alert motorists the light is about to change.
“This is not just one emotional incident that is driving us,” said Mendel. “There have been so many accidents here. This is just the final straw.”
“Everybody is super sad about what’s going on and want to help in some way or another,” said Katrina Jolley, who also lives east of Mountain View Corridor. “When a child dies, nobody feels comfortable about it. Nobody is happy about it because they had a whole life to live.”
The explosive growth in this part of the valley has also brought many more cars to every intersection.
“Traffic flow out here is already bad,” said Jolley.
To make matters worse, the development was built with only one way in and out of the neighborhoods to the east of the corridor. Additionally, there have been a lot of child pedestrians using crosswalks in the intersection, and many motorists don’t follow the posted 55 mph speed limit.
“I think people view it more as a speedway than a road they need to keep the speed limit on,” said Mendel.
“When you’re trying to get onto Mountain View Corridor,” said Jolley, “you have to gun it and hope that no cars are coming because you can’t see over the blind hill.”
Officials with the Utah Department of Transportation said there’s been one other fatality and two other serious injury crashes at the same intersection since it opened in 2012, and a total of 17 crashes all of last year.
“Anytime you have a crash like this, we have to look at it,” said UDOT spokesperson John Gleason. “This intersection meets all safety standards, but we’re always looking to see if there is something else we can do to improve safety.”
Lt. Brian Lohrke with the Unified Police Department patrolled Mountain View Corridor when it first opened in 2010. The Rosecrest intersection opened in 2012.
“I think it’s pretty safe to say that the roadway did not have anything to do with the crash last night. It had a lot to do with the reckless behavior of this driver,” said Lohrke.
This crash has been upsetting for first responders and safety advocates who believe it was preventable.
“We got a call two minutes before the crash that a reckless driver hit a truck,” said Lohrke. “That was the truck that we were going to go look for right before the crash happened.”
The police lieutenant said speed and distraction were the most deadly factors in crashes out on Mountain View Corridor, where the speed limit is 15 mph slower than I-15 though the valley.
The neighbors planned to take their concerns to the Herriman City Council meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m. They hoped to gain an advocate in the city and approach UDOT about making improvements.