Man Injured After Rock Falls From Cliff, Hits Windshield

Dec 16, 2018, 2:16 PM | Updated: 5:27 pm
(Image courtesy Weber County Sheriff's Office)...
(Image courtesy Weber County Sheriff's Office)
(Image courtesy Weber County Sheriff's Office)

OGDEN, Utah – A Layton man was sent to the hospital with critical injuries after a boulder crashed through his windshield while driving in Ogden Canyon. He has since been upgraded from critical to serious condition.

The incident happened around 1:15 p.m. Saturday.

Officials with the Weber County Sheriff’s Office said the 57-year-old man and his wife were traveling west on State Route 158 approaching Pineview Dam.

Near the sharp left turn just before the dam,Sergeant Stephanie Tatton said, a 150-pound rock came loose from the mountainside above. It tumbled down the mountainside and crashed through the windshield of the truck, hitting the man and woman inside, then came to rest in the back seat.

The man driving lost control and crashed into the mountainside. Tatton said he was taken to the hospital. The woman who was in the passenger seat had minor injuries.

“(The rock) injured the driver, and then he crashed,” said Sergeant Stephanie Tatton.

The man was transported to the hospital in critical condition. The exact nature of his injuries was not released.

In a news release Sunday, Lieutenant Courtney Ryan of the Weber County Sheriff’s Office said smaller rocks continued to fall as emergency officials worked the scene.

One of the deputy’s trucks, he said, was hit by falling rocks. No one else was injured.

UDOT spokesperson John Gleason said canyon crews keep an eye out for hazardous conditions as they work to clear snow, but he said danger is not always obvious.

“If there’s anything that looks like it could be trouble, that’s something we can address, but most of the time, you’re not going to see these things before they happen, unfortunately,” Gleason said. “It’s terrible when something like this happens.”

He said anyone who sees rocks that could be a danger to drivers should let someone know.

“If it’s a potential for other people getting involved in a crash, then you can consider that an emergency, so call 911, report it right away so that our canyon crews can get up there and address it,” Gleason said.

Gleason said rock falls are more common in the winter because repeated freezing and thawing loosens the rocks.

The road was closed for a short time while crews worked at the scene.

“We closed off the spillway for a little over an hour and 15 minutes,” Tatton said.

Workers from the Utah Department of Transportation were called in to clear the rocks from the roadway.

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Man Injured After Rock Falls From Cliff, Hits Windshield