Two injured in I-80 crash; several crashes reported as Thanksgiving travel picks up
TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — State troopers say two people were injured in a three-car crash on eastbound Interstate 80 Wednesday morning.
The crash happened just after 4 a.m., and the Utah Highway Patrol closed eastbound I-80 for several hours while troopers investigated.
One of the two injured people was struck by a car while they were outside of their vehicle; that person suffered serious to critical injuries.
“If you’re involved in a crash, especially with inclement weather when it starts getting snowy, remain in your vehicle and call 911,” UHP Sgt. Jeff Washburn said.
Both were taken to area hospitals by ambulance. No cause for the crash has been released.
Wednesday morning crashes
We have multiple crashes on I-15 in downtown Salt Lake City. 2 of them are NB between 400 South and 600 North.
1-crash in SB on the North Temple overpass. Both directions of the freeway are icy, please slow down. pic.twitter.com/lOGRgSEmBc
— Heather Kelly (@KSLHeatherKelly) November 23, 2022
Emergency crews responded to multiple crashes across the Salt Lake Valley during Wednesday’s morning commute.
At one point, there were six crashes on I-15 in Salt Lake City, with slick conditions reported on freeways and side streets.
“We get little lake effect and slick snow on the road and it causes a lot of crashes,” UHP Sgt. Cameron Roden said.
Salt Lake City police said they were investigating two crashes on the 400 South viaduct, one of which included a police vehicle.
“As he came over the viaduct, he came into that accident. He actually ended up being involved in that accident,” Det. Ben Nielsen with the Salt Lake City Police Department said.
One person was hospitalized with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.
“Due to an overnight snow storm and freezing temps, the roads are slick. Please slow down and drive carefully,” police tweeted.
— Derek Petersen (@Derek_Photog) November 23, 2022
All road closures related to the 400 South crashes were lifted at 8:30 a.m.
Crews also responded to a rollover crash on I-15 in Ogden.
Roden said a vehicle lost control and went off to the right and rolled at milepost 344, near the 21st Street exit. One woman reported minor injuries and was treated on scene.
Thanksgiving delays expected
The busiest travel days during Thanksgiving week are usually Tuesday, Wednesday and the Sunday after the holiday. This year, the Federal Aviation Administration expected Tuesday to be the busiest travel day with roughly 48,000 scheduled flights.
AAA predicts that 54.6 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home in the U.S. this week, a 1.5% bump over Thanksgiving last year and only 2% less than in 2019.
The Utah Department of Transportation is encouraging drivers to plan ahead this holiday season, citing possible delays out on the roadways.
Traffic engineers believe I-15 could see “heavy traffic” on Wednesday and Sunday.
The following delays are expected on Wednesday:
- Northbound I-15 in Davis County — up to 10-minute delays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Southbound I-15 in Salt Lake County — up to 15-minute delays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Southbound I-15 in Nephi — up to 10-minute delays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Staying safe on the roads
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the day before Thanksgiving is the deadliest to drive — averaging 114 car crash deaths per year.
Roden said it’s important to wear a seat belt, adding that UHP will step up enforcement of that this holiday weekend.
“We want to make sure everyone in that vehicle is buckled up,” he said.
Troopers will also be looking for impaired drivers as more people will be celebrating the holiday with alcohol.
Roden said to drink responsibly.
“We’d much rather have this be a good, enjoyable holiday, rather than end in a tragedy.”
He added that fatigue can set in as well after eating a big, hearty Thanksgiving meal, so be sure to get plenty of rest before you hit the road.
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