Unfriendly Snow Day
Utah Highway Patrol went from a quiet first week of 2014 to handling 22 crashes on a wet, snowy Wednesday. Those crashes included lane and highway closures, seven injury accidents and more than 20 slide-offs. Troopers are gearing up for even more accidents as the storm continues into Thursday.
The most serious crash occurred about 9:40 a.m., Wednesday morning, on I-15 near the Honeyville exit. Gilbert Bautista, 58, Blackfoot, Idaho, was traveling northbound in a 2006 Toyota pickup, occupied by his wife and granddaughter.
Bautista lost control on the icy roadway, sending the truck into the median and over the cable barrier. It crashed into a 2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara, driven by Charles Nattress, 53, of Tremonton. His wife was a passenger in that vehicle.
To avoid that crash, a Nissan Altima took evasive action, but sideswiped a semi-trailer.
Nattress had to be extricated and the occupants of all the vehicles involved were transported to Brigham City Community Hospital. None of the injuries were life-threatening.
The inside lane of southbound I-15 was closed for about an hour while the site was cleared. It opened at 10:50 a.m. About five minutes later a second crash occurred about a mile north in the southbound lanes. A Ford F-150 pickup pulling a 20-foot horse trailer slid into the back of a semi truck pulling a reefer trailer. The accident partially blocked the inside lane again, causing another hour-long closure. No one was injured in the second crash, not even the horse in the trailer.
There was also a jack-knifed semi on I-15 northbound near the 1100 S. exit and two minor injury crashes in Sardine Canyon. There were three other accidents near milepost 355 earlier in the morning with minor injuries reported.
About 5:30 p.m., on SR-30 near Kelton a semi hauling 100-foot metal trusses overturned blocking the entire roadway for about five hours.