The Season’s First Winter Storm Left Many Injured
Utah Highway Patrol believes icy roads contributed to the extremely large pileup on Interstate 84 early Monday morning.
Police said the accidents began after one car spun out and a trooper stopped to help.
While Trooper Eric Prescott, Utah Highway Patrol, was helping the first car he watched the rest of the scene unfold.
“…it just kind of created a chain reaction. Another car came in, another car came in, and they just kept piling up on the icy bridge,” Prescott said.
The bridge around horseshoe bend iced over and UHP believes that was a factor in the accident.
"One semi came into it, lost control and jackknifed, basically closing the whole road down. And then every single vehicle, which includes three additional semis and approximately 15 to 20 vehicles, came in at either freeway or below freeway speeds causing a serious traffic mess," said Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Chris Simmons.
A trailer involved in the accident was carrying Butane gas and began to leak fuel after the crash.
Five people involved in the accident were taken to the hospital in critical condition and between 5 and 10 more were taken to hospitals in less serious conditions.
A few miles east of the pileup, cars were being detoured off of the freeway because of the first accident. A truck of hunters towing a horse trailer with dogs in the back was involved in a crash when another truck struck the trailer of the first truck.
Three dogs were killed in the accident.
UHP said that since midnight Saturday night there had been 84 accidents in just Salt Lake and Utah counties, resulting in everything from property damage to injuries that needed assistance.
Driving in winter road conditions can be extremely dangerous. Sometimes there isn’t anything that could have been done to prevent an accident. But there are things to know that could help to increase your odds of arriving safely at your destination when the weather and road conditions are not ideal.
Winterizing your car is a preliminary precaution that can be taken as soon as the seasons begin to change. The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) suggests that when you take your car in for this process you pay special attention to “good tires, wiper blades, windshield washer fluid and working lights.”
Black ice is also something to be aware of. According to the National Weather Service, “black ice” refers to “patchy ice on roadways or other transportation surfaces that cannot easily be seen.”
Tips from AAA Mid-Atlantic say that black ice commonly forms on bridges, overpasses, tunnels and roads that wind around waterways. If you are driving on any road that fits this description then be aware that black ice might be present and adjust your driving accordingly.
Driving in winter weather can be a dangerous task, but there are precautions you can take to increase your safety. If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident this winter, the Salt Lake City auto accident attorneys at the Christensen Law Firm can help. They are experienced and compassionate attorneys that can make navigating the ins and outs of an accident, a less stressful experience. Call us today at 801-506-0800 to find out what options are available to you.