TRAFFIC & ROADS

After 8 semi crashes, Garden City residents are frustrated

Jun 5, 2023, 7:28 PM | Updated: 10:36 pm

GARDEN CITY, Utah — Residents of Garden City are frustrated after a total of eight semi trucks have barreled through an intersection near Bear Lake after losing their brakes, including the most recent one Friday.

The only fatal crash was the first one five years ago, but city leaders and business owners say it can’t be allowed to keep happening. Austin Clark, who owns the new Burger Barn next door to the latest crash, was there for the latest crash.

“It came flying through, goes through the garages there in back, slams into a propane tank,” Clark said.

People in the area are calling it another miracle that nobody was killed and that a struck propane didn’t explode.

“Grateful but, at the same time, extremely frustrated that it happened again.”

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

Clark isn’t the only one who is frustrated — not by a long shot. Garden City’s mayor, Mike Leonhardt, said he is talking with Utah’s Department of Transportation and said they are working with him to find solutions. A mandatory brake check area was staffed Monday, and a second check area under construction below that and a runaway truck ramp.

Leonhardt would like one more thing.

“That there’ll be a dedicated land from that brake check area, all the way to the truck ramp so if those trucks can’t stop at that brake check area, they are already over in the far right lane,” he said.

It isn’t clear what will be done, but Leonhardt said he is grateful UDOT is listening. But UDOT can’t pin down any single reason better safety choices aren’t being made.

The second brake check area only recently started construction and is expected to be done in the fall at a cost of $3 million. Semi-drivers are required to stop, but that is rarely enforced because of limited worker resources.

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After 8 semi crashes, Garden City residents are frustrated