Snow forecast to impact Utah roads again Friday, after several crashes Thursday

Jan 5, 2024, 6:23 AM

Two people died and one was injured when a car hit an overturned semitruck on northbound I-15 in Pa...

Two people died and one was injured when a car hit an overturned semitruck on northbound I-15 in Payson Thursday morning. (Derek Petersen, KSL TV)

(Derek Petersen, KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Snow is expected to continue to impact Utah roads again on Friday, after slick roads have already resulted in multiple crashes across the state, including one that killed two women and critically injured another in Payson on Thursday.

The Utah Department of Transportation issued a road weather alert advising drivers to slow down and use “moderate to high” caution while traveling on many of the state’s roads through early Saturday morning, as another cold front arrives. Snow is expected to begin falling along the Wasatch Front as early as the mid-morning hours and continue into the afternoon.

The biggest impacts will be on mountain passes in the Wasatch Mountains, which remain under a winter weather advisory by the National Weather Service. About 6 to 12 inches or more of snow is forecast between Thursday and Friday.

But some additional road impacts are expected in valley areas across the state’s western half, where a few inches of snow may fall between Thursday evening and early Saturday.

“Snowfall rates during that time will be moderate to heavy which should be enough to overwhelm roads and put down some road slush,” the UDOT alert states. “A few lighter and spottier snow showers may linger into the evening hours before ending, with any additional impacts minor. Expect similar impacts along I-15 through central and southern Utah, though timing for the heaviest snow will be during the afternoon and early evening hours.”

UDOT officials say that these roads are expected to be the most impacted:

  • I-15: Utah-Idaho border to Cedar City
  • I-70: Salina and Clear Creek summits
  • I-80
  • I-84
  • I-215
  • U.S. 6: Utah-Nevada border to I-15; Spanish Fork to Helper
  • U.S. 40: I-80/Silver Creek junction to Fruitland
  • U.S. 50: Entire route in Utah
  • U.S. 89: Utah-Idaho border to Manti
  • U.S. 189: Entire route in Utah
  • U.S. 191: Wyoming border through US-191 Summit; Through Indian Canyon Summit to US-6 Junction
  • S.R. 16
  • S.R. 30
  • S.R. 31
  • S.R. 35: Francis to Tabiona
  • S.R. 39
  • S.R. 20
  • S.R. 143
  • S.R. 14
  • S.R. 190
  • S.R. 210

Weather impacts on the roads

Utah Highway Patrol troopers responded to several crashes since snow began falling on Wednesday, including a fatal crash in Payson.

Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Cameron Roden said a semitruck veered into the left shoulder before the driver overcorrected to the right and the vehicle rolled near the 800 South exit in Payson just before 1:30 a.m. A Honda car crashed into the semitruck moments later.

“Unfortunately, with that overturned semi the way it was facing, you couldn’t see any lights or anything like that,” Roden said. “So they were — from what it appears, it didn’t look like they knew that the semi was there blocking the roadway.”

Three women were in the Honda at the time of the crash. The driver and front-seat passenger died at the scene, while a back-seat passenger was hospitalized in critical condition.

The driver of the semitruck suffered minor injuries. The semitruck appeared to be hauling plastic crates or shelving, UHP said. Some of that cargo spilled on the interstate.

The crash closed some lanes for several hours while troopers investigated the scene.

Another crash in Salt Lake County involving a semitruck that rolled over temporarily closed several lanes on eastbound I-215 South near 700 West in Murray.

UDOT reported other crashes on I-15 in Kanarraville, Iron County; Pleasant Grove; a pair of crashes on I-80 in Tooele County; and crashes on other highways in Emery, Wayne, Sevier, Iron, Sanpete and San Juan counties overnight Thursday.

I-84 was also closed temporarily in both directions Thursday morning after a semitruck hauling 7,400 gallons of butane had to stop due to a mechanical malfunction that caused a fire, according to Morgan County Fire and Emergency Medical Services. Troopers shut down both directions out of caution.

“Fire responded and put out the fire and the tank was not compromised,” Roden said. “There were no injuries and no other vehicles involved.”

Contributing: Linda Williams, Josh Ellis

KSL 5 TV Live

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Snow forecast to impact Utah roads again Friday, after several crashes Thursday