ROAD TO ZERO

Troopers advise caution after rough start to the year on Utah’s roads

Feb 1, 2023, 2:20 PM | Updated: 4:14 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — One person died Tuesday in an auto-pedestrian crash in Salt Lake City. The next day, another person was killed in a wrong-way crash in Salt Lake County.

On Wednesday, KSL heard from a friend of the person who died in that auto-pedestrian crash.

1 dead, 1 injured after two auto-pedestrian crashes at same SLC intersection

“He was the neighborhood watch guy. He was the grandpa all in one,” said Lori Orton.

Orton is talking about her neighbor and friend, 69-year-old Alan Dice, who she said started out as a neighbor but became a really good friend to her and her family.

“It’s weird not having him around, I mean, he was out daily. We talked to him on a daily basis,” Orton said.

She said Dice walked everywhere, adding that he would take daily trips to his local grocery store before returning home to his recently adopted cat, Harry.

Police say he died Tuesday after being run over twice in separate crashes in the crosswalk near 1200 West and 600 North.

“I mean, my gosh, he was coming over here to get his groceries and go back home to his cat. That’s all he had,” Orton said.

Serving 20 years total between the Air Force and Utah Army National Guard, she said Dice was a kind neighbor to her and anyone he met.

This comes as the Utah Highway Patrol is seeing an uptick in other dangers behind the wheel through wrong-way driving.

“They’re husbands. They’re fathers. They’re mothers and daughters. Uncles. Grandparents,” said Maj. Jeff Nigbur.

One month into the year, Nigbur says they’ve already had three wrong-way drivers on the road.

The first fatality from wrong-way driving occurred Wednesday morning in Salt Lake County. Nigbur said a driver going the wrong way hit another driver going the right way head-on.

1 dead, 1 injured in wrong-way crash that closed NB I-15 near SL/Davis Co. line

“We always need to sit down and realize that, and even on the other side of it, you gotta realize if this individual does make it out of the hospital, which we’re hopeful for, you know she’s potentially facing automobile homicide charges, which will affect her for the rest of her entire life. So they’re horrible situations and there are no winners in this at all,” Nigbur said.

Different motives are leading to the same outcomes, that in most cases, are preventable.

“At the end of the day, we also just need to be paying more attention. I think everyone can do that,” Orton said.

When it comes to wrong-way driving, UHP said toward the end of 2022, things slowed down and got better, but for some reason, 2023 is not off to a great start on the roads.

To combat that, Nigbur said they are taking measures including more of a patrol presence on and off ramps.

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Troopers advise caution after rough start to the year on Utah’s roads