First responders slammed as second round of snow pounds Wasatch Front
Jan 10, 2024, 10:05 PM | Updated: Jan 11, 2024, 7:48 am
SOUTH SALT LAKE — Snow round two slammed the Wasatch Front Wednesday, making a mess out of the evening commute and keeping crash first responders busy.
The first round produced squall warnings from the National Weather Service and left behind slick surfaces on many roads from Box Elder County to Utah County and beyond.
On Wednesday afternoon, the powder once again started piling up — this time around 4 p.m. — and it quickly caked to highways and interstates.
“Every day is a different adventure — that’s for sure,” said Tanner Thomas, Utah Department of Transportation roadway safety specialist, as he guided an incident management truck along the freeway. “We can have a lot of accidents come in all at once.”
It was only minutes before Thomas was busy, first shielding a car from traffic as a worker finished up a tire change on the Interstate 215 west belt.
Thomas was then summoned to Parleys Canyon, but before he could get there he was once again needed along the side of northbound I-15 in South Salt Lake to tow a wrecked pickup truck.
“He hit the wall and his front passenger axle is kind of broken so we’re just going to tow him off to the next exit,” Thomas said. He deposited the truck in a parking lot near 2100 South and 300 West and it was onto the next.
“It’s just another day at work,” he told KSL TV. “We’re kind of at the hand of Mother Nature, unfortunately.”
Clearly, it was going to be a long night.
Not unlike warnings from Utah Highway Patrol, Thomas urged drivers to slow down, to keep a good following distance from other cars, to keep tires maintained and to move over when they spot first responders helping others along the side of the road.
“If people slow down a little bit and if they have good snow tires and all that in the winter season, they can prevent a lot of accidents,” Thomas said. “As long as we can help everyone get home at the end of the day, that’s our main priority.”