Traffic was backed up on I-80 and on I-15 northbound through the morning commute on Tuesday. The reasons behind the traffic were identified as separate accidents; one involved the driver of a semitrailer who was changing radio stations, and the other stemmed from evasive action taken by a driver of a sedan.
The first accident happened at 1 a.m. as a semitrailer carrying two tankers of crude oil was traveling west on I-80, heading to the north I-15 interchange. According to the report, the driver of the truck lost control of the vehicle while rounding a curve. The driver admitted to authorities that he was reaching down to change radio stations when the accident happened. As a result, he drifted off to the right and crashed into a cement barrier on I-15, closing down multiple lanes on the freeway and shutting off the I-80 entrance to northbound I-15.
Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Donavan Lucas stated that the semitrailer’s fuel was leaking after the accident. Crews had to empty the oil out of the truck before moving it from the area because the truck was too heavy to lift otherwise. Lucas was worried that the tanker would pop open and create an even greater mess.
The report added that a second vehicle collided with debris from the accident, but no one was injured. The driver of the semitrailer also escaped without injuries.
The second major accident occurred around 9 a.m. involving a man driving a sedan. The traffic was nearly at a standstill as the man decided to take evasive action.
Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce said that the car hit the inside barrier wall and ricocheted sideways back into traffic, where it crashed into a halted flatbed semi-truck. Ground crews took the man out of the car and transported him to a hospital. He was reported to be in critical condition. The truck suffered minor damage and its driver was not hurt. Authorities were unsure how fast the sedan’s speed was when it crashed.
Accidents are happening everywhere in Utah. Christensen & Hymas encourages everyone to drive safely.
Call Christensen & Hymas at (801)-506-0800 if you have concerns regarding personal injury claims. A person who sustained injuries because of the reckless driving behavior of another deserved to be compensated for hospitalization cost, pain and suffering and loss income.
Original article and photo by Whitney Evans of Deseret News