Truck crashes in Garden City for first time since UDOT installed runaway ramp in 2020

May 17, 2022, 10:23 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2024, 5:03 pm

GARDEN CITY, Utah — The thing about peaceful places is, once discovered, everyone wants to go there.

Norm Mecham has had a home and business in Garden City for close to 30 years and has seen the change.

“It’s growing very quickly,” he said. “It’s getting busier and busier, and the truck traffic is getting busier and busier.”

Tuesday morning, it happened again.

“Just a big boom,” Mecham said. “I’ve lost track, but it’s six, seven, eight. In that range.”

Another 18-wheeler coming down the mountain on U.S. Highway 89 crashed once reaching the main intersection in town.

Jeremiah Sindar was working nearby and rushed to help the driver after the big rig rolled onto its passenger side.

“He looked fine. He just looked in shock,” Sindar said. “He just said that he lost his brakes.”

These types of crashes where drivers say their brakes failed have happened so often here, the Utah Department of Transportation installed a runaway truck ramp a year and a half ago.

It’s never been used, and this is the first time there has been a crash since it was installed.

However, the driver told investigators his brakes failed after the ramp.

“He said he started to realize about two blocks up that he wasn’t able to brake,” said Jesse Dunn, a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol.

There’s even a brake check at the top of the mountain before the runaway ramp where drivers are required to stop and inspect their brakes before heading down.

“The driver did tell us that he had stopped at the brake check before entering the canyon,” said Sgt. Chris Turley with UHP’s Commercial Vehicle Inspection.

The driver, who was hauling bottled water, didn’t hit anybody in the crash.

It happened at about 6 a.m.

However, the busy season in this part of Bear Lake gets going in a couple of weeks.

And as more people discover the place, the concern is eventually someone will be in that intersection at the wrong time.

“It’s a miracle every time,” Mecham said. “You just come away from it going, I don’t know how it happens without someone dying in the intersection.”

UHP will continue to investigate this crash.

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Truck crashes in Garden City for first time since UDOT installed runaway ramp in 2020