Draper police officers helped stuck cars in whiteout conditions

Apr 4, 2023, 6:05 PM | Updated: Apr 17, 2023, 2:45 pm

DRAPER, Utah — As a police officer with over a decade of experience, Draper police Sergeant Mike Elkins has been involved with many challenging calls. However, he can’t recall dealing with weather conditions like what he saw Monday night.

“The weather has been unprecedented. The snow has been crazy,” he said.

On Monday night, he and his fellow officers were dispatched to Traverse Ridge Road because cars were getting stuck trying to get up the mountain. Traverse Ridge is well known as a steep mountain road because of its 10-percent grade.

When officers arrived to help, they were in whiteout conditions.

“I’ve been here over 14 years and have never seen this kind of stuff,” Sgt. Elkins said. “When I arrived up there, I wasn’t even sure where our officers who were already on scene were and was hoping I wasn’t going to cause a crash with one of them.”

Whiteout weather in Suncrest near Draper, Utah on Monday night. (Draper Police Dept.) Whiteout weather in Suncrest near Draper, Utah on Monday night. (Draper Police Dept.) Whiteout weather in Suncrest near Draper, Utah on Monday night. (Draper Police Dept.) Whiteout weather in Suncrest near Draper, Utah on Monday night. (Draper Police Dept.)

SunCrest has had a brutal winter. Michael O’Donnell has lived there for almost eight years and says he has never seen a winter like this one in Utah. He thought he could put away his shovel after last week’s snowstorm.

“I had it all down to the grass and then I woke up today and it’s not only back up, it’s about three feet higher all the way to the windows,” O’Donnell said with a laugh. “It’s no one’s fault. This is just what you have to do.”

Just up the road, Carlos Velasquez, who owns a landscaping company, was trying to use a snowblower to clear a sidewalk with at least three feet of snow.

“It’s a lot of work,” Velasquez said with a shocked look.

This winter has certainly been one to remember, and at least in Draper, it’s not over yet.

“There’s more coming,” said Sgt. Elkins. “Please be safe out there and take it slow.”

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Draper police officers helped stuck cars in whiteout conditions