UDOT Looking To Improve Roadway After UHP Trooper’s Vehicle Hit During 6-Crash Day
PORTAGE, Utah – UDOT officials said they are looking at options to increase safety on Interstate 15 in northern Utah after a Utah Highway Patrol trooper was hospitalized after his vehicle was hit by a pick-up truck.
It was the fourth of six accidents on northbound I-15 at that location during a rainstorm on Saturday.
Sergeant Brian Nelson was sitting in his patrol car in Box Elder County near the Utah-Idaho border when the truck hydroplaned, spun out and hit him.
“I heard something that didn’t sound normal as a car was going by, and it was just a split second and then bam, it hit me,” Nelson said.
A total of six vehicles hit standing water in the exact same spot leading to six accidents. Two of the crashes happened after Nelson was hit.
“They came into it, hit the water, hit their brakes, spun out and then they hit the median so we had two more that night,” said Lieutenant Lee Perry.
“The more it rains, the more is sitting there and the water doesn’t run off,” Nelson said. “So the cars go over it, they hydroplane, they go off to the right, they go off to the left.”
Highway officials said it was a high number and they want to figure out what the issue is.
“There were six crashes that happened out there this weekend — that’s far too many,” said UDOT spokesperson John Gleason. “Any time you have a number of crashes like that, that’s something we need to look at.”
Gleason said they’re taking a good look at that section of freeway to see if it’s a drainage issue that can be solved by improving the road. He added UDOT is also looking at more signage to alert drivers of standing water.
“We’re out there right now to see if there is an engineering solution that can improve safety in that area and if there is that’s definitely something we’re going to investigate,” he said.
We took a closer look at the crash history of this particular location and found out there have been at least 27 accidents here — 20 of those were weather-related.
Highway officials said while they’re taking a look at what can be done to the road, they’re also asking drivers to do their part.
“If people would pay attention in that kind of weather — when it says slow down, we’re not talking five miles an hour,” Perry said. “Most of them are saying well the speed limit is 80 and I’m going 75. That’s too fast.”
If you would like to see how many accidents are happening at certain spots around Utah, you can go here.
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