Holiday Travel, Heavy Snow Lead To Dozens of Northern Utah Crashes
WILLARD, Utah – A combination of a very busy holiday travel day and heavy snow led to an unusually high number of crashes and slide-offs across northern Utah, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.
Lieutenant Lee Perry said there were well over 50 incidents in Box Elder County alone, with over a dozen in Cache Valley.
By 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, troopers had responded to 136 calls for crashes and slide-offs in Box Elder County.
Among those, a sedan slid off of northbound I-15 near Willard, slamming the vehicle into a pole. The diver died instantly while the passenger suffered minor injuries.
Many of the drivers on the road Wednesday said the weather wasn’t enough to keep them at home and away from family.
However, people like Ken Thiltgen of San Deigo anticipated the weather and decided to take it slow.
“We kind of were expecting it,” Thiltgen said. “But I thought as long as we got through early before the early afternoon, the rush hour, that we’d be okay.”
Drivers coming into Utah from Idaho reported seeing numerous vehicles off the road.
“Apparently when the storm hit (it) was just a little bit too icy, too fast,” Mark Zdarko said. “But as long as you’re going slow, and got good tires, not too much of a problem.”
Mikan Morton and her family made a similar observation.
“My kids have been counting 12 cars off the road in the last 15 minutes,” Morton said. “It’s pretty much a whiteout, and (there were) three semis off the road too.”
Perry asked drivers to leave early and take it slow. He said many of Wednesday’s incidents likely could have been prevented if drivers were going slower.
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