ROAD TO ZERO

‘It’s very troubling’: Motorcycle fatalities up 40% in Utah; UDOT trying to find out why

Jul 19, 2022, 8:25 PM | Updated: 10:20 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Alarming numbers from the Utah Department of Transportation show a huge increase in motorcycle fatalities in Utah this year, compared to the average of the last five years.

As UDOT announces those numbers have jumped quite a bit this year, a family in Murray is sharing how their son died on 900 East in Murray because a driver just didn’t see him.

In the front hall of their home in Murray, a photo of Nathan Lance serves as a constant reminder of the hole left in the Lance family.

“It’s devastating for everyone involved,” Tony Lance said.

Tony and his wife, Suzy, talked about how their 21-year old son was just getting ready to head to Texas to finish flight school. He was excited about school and what was in store for his life moving forward.

Down the street from their home is a constant reminder of why Nathan isn’t here today.

“He just didn’t have a way out. You could see the skid mark and he had half a second to figure it out and it killed him instantly,” Tony recounted of the crash that killed his son.

Tony and Suzy drive by that spot every day on the corner of 900 E. Vine Street.

They say an elderly driver turned left in front of Nathan as he rode his motorcycle down 900 East last November.

An honest mistake with a devastating outcome.

“As fast as police officers said, ‘Your son died,’ your life before ended. It’s over,” Tony said.

“We have before Nathan and after Nathan,” Suzy echoed. “And I think when you lose a son, you’re forever changed.”

Their family is just one of dozens since, where everything changed in a moment because of a fatal motorcycle crash.

“Right now, the motorcycle fatalities — it’s very troubling, and we’re seeing a big increase in the number of deaths of motorcycle riders,” said John Gleason, spokesperson for UDOT.

He explained that 27 motorcyclists have died on Utah roads so far in 2022, from January 1 to July 18. It’s far above the average of 19 looking at the same time period over the last five years.

That’s a 40% increase, Gleason said.

He’s not exactly sure why the numbers are as high as they are.

“It’s something that we’re going to be looking at to see why we’re seeing this increase in motorcyclist fatalities,” he said.

Gleason urged drivers to watch out and look for motorcycles as they’re driving, especially if they’re changing lanes or turning. He also asked motorcyclists to continue their training and education, and wear helmets and proper protective gear.

“We have to look at the shared responsibility that we each have as drivers of vehicles and as riders of motorcycles,” Gleason said. “We have to watch out for each other.”

UDOT is planning a social media campaign with posts and a video they expect to release this week, getting that message out to drivers and motorcyclists in an effort to prevent fatalities from continuing to skyrocket.

The constant reminder of road safety from UDOT is one the Lances are also sharing.

“It really was avoidable,” Tony said of the crash that killed his son. “I see people and they just don’t get what they’re doing. They don’t realize that they can actually kill someone. They can ruin their lives and other people’s lives around them just because they’re not paying attention.”

The message comes too late for the Lances, but they hope it’s not too late for someone else.

Suzy made a tearful plea to the public: “If you can be more aware, then you can save a family from going through this.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Road to Zero

...
Dan Rascon

Utah sees spike in bicycle fatalities

According to the latest numbers from the Utah Department of Transportation, Utah has seen 11 fatalities, more than any previous year in the past decade, and there are still five months left in the year.
5 days ago
...
Lauren Steinbrecher

Speeding, distracted driving leading to increase in crashes on Utah city streets

Utah is seeing a concerning increase in crashes on city streets. On Wednesday, KSL's Lauren Steinbrecher was in Sandy as police explained which issues on the road are the worst they've seen in years and what they're doing about it.
11 days ago
...
Cary Schwanitz

Bountiful man killed, three juveniles injured in I-70 crash

A Bountiful man died in a single-car crash on I-70 near Green River last week.
12 days ago
(SLCPD)...
Josh Ellis and Karah Brackin, KSL TV

One dead after SLC motorcycle crash; third serious crash in 12 hours

Police are investigating after a person was killed in a motorcycle crash on 1300 East near 2300 South.
12 days ago
The Utah Highway Patrol has responded to 99 calls of wrong-way drivers on freeways this year....
Shara Park and Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Putting the brakes on wrong-way drivers: Finding solutions to deadly crashes

Utah is close to breaking records of deadly wrong-way crashes. Why is this happening? KSL News Specialist Shara Park digs into solutions.
18 days ago
FILE: A Utah Highway Patrol vehicle in Salt Lake City is pictured on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. (Dese...
Michael Houck

UHP reports four fatal crashes over Pioneer Day weekend

Utah Highway Patrol released their enforcement stats for Pioneer Day weekend, including four fatalities and three wrong-way drivers. 
20 days ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
‘It’s very troubling’: Motorcycle fatalities up 40% in Utah; UDOT trying to find out why