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UHP: Almost 600 Crashes, 4 fatalities & 10 Troopers Hit Thanksgiving Week

UHP Sergeant David Bairett was hit head-on by a vehicle while responding to a crash near Beaver on I-15 over Thanksgiving weekend. Bairett was not injured in the crash. (Utah Highway Patrol)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Highway Patrol troopers responded to almost 600 crashes Thanksgiving week and are asking the public for help on Utah’s roads this winter season.

Ten patrol vehicles were hit while responding to crashes between Wednesday, Nov. 27, and Sunday, Dec. 1, bringing the total number of troopers hit in 2019 to 31.

Officials said no trooper had sustained life-threatening injuries while responding to a crash this year.

Of the 598 total crashes in Utah, two resulted in four fatalities. Officials said last year, there were 164 fewer crashes and only one fatality occurred during the same time period in Utah.

Every trooper assigned to the Wasatch Front worked overtime as 350 of the 598 crashes occurred between Payson and Ogden.

Officials asked Utah drivers to significantly slow down from posted speed limits during winter weather conditions and when emergency lights are visible.

Troopers said UHP patrol vehicles are typically set up on the shoulder with emergency lights on to warn of an incident ahead and asked drivers to be alert and start slowing down in those situations.

They also asked drivers to move off the roadway for minor fender benders, slow down and move over for emergency lights and recognize that emergency lights mean there is a problem ahead.

Additionally, troopers made 33 DUI arrests from Wednesday to Sunday. One driver was arrested for DUI after a crash involving a Utah Department of Transportation incident management truck Thanksgiving night.