UHP responds to 21 accidents in 12 hours as winter weather hits Utah

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SOUTHERN UTAH -- It was a dangerous Mothers’ Day to be traveling through Southern Utah, especially I-15 in Beaver County.

“The snow packed roads have made it difficult for travelers in the area, so we’ve had several accidents and people sliding off and basically getting stuck in a traffic jam,” said Sgt. Mary Kaye Lucas of the Utah Highway Patrol.

Between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Utah Highway Patrol reported 21 accidents, including two overturned semi-trucks. They also confirm an additional 19 vehicles that slid off the road. UHP officials said when venturing out in this weather, you must be prepared.

“Make sure your car is in good condition, make sure your tires are in good condition, make sure you have extra food, blankets, extra set of clothing because you never know how long you are going to be there and you never know what’s going to happen,” Lucas said.

In the residential neighborhoods, snow continued to accumulate atop everything from mailboxes, to rooftops, to trees.

“It’s a pretty heavy snow out here, so I’m not surprised to see the limbs snapping off like they are, this is pretty accurate,” said Kyle Parry, who was visiting Cedar City.

When those tree limbs come crashing down, they often tend to bring utility lines with them. At one point more than 6,000 Rocky Mountain Power customers in cedar city were without electricity. As of about 9:30 p.m., about 1,100 people were still without power.

“The trees can’t maintain the weight of the snow, plus the leaves, it’s just gathering up more of the weight so it’s a real wet heavy snow, I haven’t seen one this heavy in a long time,” said electrical contractor Tony Barney.

It can be like an obstacle course for residents, as they dodge everything from falling icicles to downed branches.

“I’m just seeing branches everywhere, I was really surprised, I thought this might have been a fluke, this tree behind me and then once I got home I realized there were other people in danger so I walked around and warned other people who were in danger of trees collapsing,” said Brandon Tremelling of Cedar City.

UHP officials did say, despite all the car crashes, no serious injuries were reported.

1 Comment

  • whatifdave

    This post is about creating safer roads. Please consider the following to do this.
    The car insurance company industries should begin a new program for both cars and trucks are stocked with high tech stuff to create safer roads. In exchange the owners of these vehicles would receive big discounts to their car insurance premiums.
    Your car insurance company would contract with a car repair chain to install these high tech gadgets, paid for at 100 percent by these insurance companies. For one, GPS chips would be installed within your license plates to make this system to work.
    Car insurance companies would also donate money for roads to be stocked with special sensors so it could communicate to cars and trucks in cab screen displays. These sensors could read if ice or standing water is starting to form on bridges or roadways ahead. Then a read out would be displayed on the in cab screen of passing cars and trucks, “bridge icing over ahead, please slow to 40 mpg” as one example.
    In exchange for paying for these sensors, these car insurance companies would get free advertisement saying, “safety roads sensors ahead, paid for by xyz insurance, your source for safer roads” for example. These ads could be placed next to the roadway where these sensors are placed and it could be displayed on the in cab screens as well. But why stop at these roads sensors doing such things of creating safer roads. There would be high tech stuff for other road safety problems, as well.
    As too many drivers are texting while driving, to prevent this, GPS chips would be placed within the license plate that will deactivate text-messaging service if the car is moving. In exchange, they (car insurance companies) should give huge premiums discounts to those families paying for car insurance. Only the driver would be required to enter their cell phone number, thus this system will only block the driver’s cell phone. Thus allowing the passengers to have cell phone coverage.
    There could be cars-to-cars communication to keep our roads safe as well. Its system works as shown in the video (link) below.

    http://www.nec.com/en/global/onlinetv/en/society/car_commu_l.html

    There could be warnings to other drivers nearby, if a person is sleepy or drunk. Thus are not staying in their lanes. Then if they keep going across the lane lines, it will warn drivers nearby by way of cars-to-cars communications.
    These GPS chips in license plates could locate stolen cars, as well. They could create a warning if these license plates are being removed. Now you get the picture.
    Though this system will only be adopted on a volunteer basis. If you find this system too intrusive, then you do NOT have to adopt it. However car insurance companies ought to give big premiums discounts for those who do adopt it.
    Then you create safer roads as a result.

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