Utah Highway Patrol responds to over 150 crashes during holiday weekend

Jan 14, 2024, 5:22 PM | Updated: Jan 15, 2024, 7:07 am

SALT LAKE CITY — As of Sunday morning, Utah Highway Patrol troopers reported over 150 crashes and an additional 50 to 100 slide-off incidents on Utah roads.

UHP trooper Eddie Wright said one of these crashes killed an 18-year-old man on Interstate 15 Friday evening on the border of Weber and Box Elder counties.

“It happened near Willard. He lost control, slid out, and hit the barrier,” Wright said.

Wright said a good Samaritan in a gold Mercedes stopped to help. However, shortly after, another car also lost control and plowed into them, pushing the Honda into 18-year-old Johnathan McQueen.

“The car was pushed into him, and it threw him over the other side of the barrier. He sustained pretty severe injuries at that point. They got him to a hospital, but he later died of those injuries,” Wright said.

The Utah Department of Public Safety says one person died in a three-vehicle crash Friday night. (Utah Highway Patrol)

Troopers think the snow on the road played a part in the crash. With the slick roads, they’re pleading with drivers to avoid distractions and slow down.

“We’re used to going 80 mph in a 70 mph zone, so they think if they slow down to 75, they’re OK. But it’s not, you need to slow down more than that,” Wright said.

When it comes to supporting snow plows, Wright said drivers need to keep a safe distance and not try to pass them.

“Our snowplows are doing a great job,” he said. “Don’t get in between them. There is actually a video right now, UDOT just posted it, of a truck. I think there’s four snowplows out and a truck in between them.”

And if you find yourself on the side of the road or driving past an accident, the safest option is to call 911.

“A lot of people like to stop and help, and that’s great. We appreciate it, but the best thing they can do is call 911. Make sure they’re OK, you don’t have to get out of your vehicle,” Wright said. “If you have a car that slides off, stay in your car with your seatbelt on don’t take that off, there’s a very good possibility you can get hit again.”

Wright said on Sunday, he responded to two slide-offs on U.S. Highway 89 near the Oak Hill Drive exit in Davis County. He suspects speed was a factor there, too.

For more safety tips, you can visit UHP’s winter driving website.

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Utah Highway Patrol responds to over 150 crashes during holiday weekend