ROAD TO ZERO

With arrival of Memorial Day weekend, 100 Deadliest Days on Utah’s roads about to start

May 22, 2024, 1:04 PM | Updated: 4:41 pm

SALT LAKE CITY For many, Memorial Day weekend means free time and kicking off the unofficial start of summer. 

It may also mean hitting the road more often or for longer stretches.

However, it also marks the start of the 100 Deadliest Days, the period when road fatalities tend to be the highest.

The Utah Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Safety, and some of those directly impacted are sending an urgent message.

“I thought I was invincible. I thought I could be untouched. That’s not the case. It could happen to anybody,” said Cody Laycock.

Cody Laylock is serving time in the Central Utah Correctional Facility after the vehicle he was driving struck another car in American Fork and killed two women in November 2021. (KSL TV)

Life-changing event

In November 2021, Laycock, who was 23-years-old at the time, was driving on Main Street in American Fork when he made the decision that would change the course of his life.

“I ultimately took somebody’s life due to my negligence,” Laycock said.

Coming around a turn, Laycock hit the gas, lost control of his vehicle, and hit another car head-on. The crash killed two women and permanently injured a third. 

Behind bars at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison, Laycock is serving time for three third-degree felonies. 

“These women were great women. They were mothers. They were grandmothers. They were daughters. Their family was huge. It not only impacted the ones who died, but it impacted everybody,” Laycock said.

85 people died in traffic crashes during Utah’s 100 Deadliest Days

Numbers from the past

As of Wednesday, there have been 80 fatalities on Utah roads. 

 In 2023, during the same time frame there were 92 fatalities. In 2022, there were 118.

While the trend is moving toward the right direction, one death is too many and impacts far more than just the driver. 

Chelsie Laycock, Cody’s mom, understands this all too well.

“There are laws in place to prevent these things from happening. His goal for his life has changed. His future that he had planned for himself is different now,” said Chelsie Laycock.

 Utah Highway Patrol said there will be around 4,000 officers on Utah roads during the 100 Deadliest Days watching for drivers who are not doing what they are supposed to be doing.

Last year, UHP said there were 40,000 contacts for people going too fast. Of those, nearly 2,000 were speeding by going over 100 miles per hour. 

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With arrival of Memorial Day weekend, 100 Deadliest Days on Utah’s roads about to start