UTAH (ABC4 News) – Troopers with the Utah Highway Patrol had a very busy day Tuesday after five incidents involving semi-trucks occurred on Utah roadways in just 12 hours.
In total, troopers responded to eight incidents involving semi trucks in just the last two days.
“They’re just going too fast,” said Lt. Jacob Cox with Utah Highway Patrol.
“The potential for disaster is enormous,” added Cox.
The first incident occurred on I-84 near Taggart’s Grill at 7 a.m. Trooper say a semi-truck hauling waste containers was traveling too fast to negotiate the curve of the roadway and crashed through the center median’s cement barrier, lost one of its containers, which impacted another semi dump truck.
The incident closed both east and westbound portions of I-84 for hours while crews repaired the barriers and cleaned up the large amount of crash debris and fluid.
“If we could make one plea, semi drivers, keep their eyes up on the road, be aware of their speed and be aware of those changing road conditions,” said Cox.
The second incident occurred around 1 p.m. when a semi had its trailer separate from the tractor portion of the rig on I-15 northbound at 8600 South in Sandy. All but two lanes on I-15 were shutdown for a short time while crews worked to remove the damaged trailer.
While Salt Lake County troopers were working on clearing the incident at 8600 S and I-15, they received reports of another semi incident on eastbound I-80 near Saltair. At 1:45 pm, a semi hauling salt overturned when the driver dropped a lit cigarette and attempted to retrieve it from the floor of his cab.
Traffic was impacted by the rollover until nearly 5 pm.
At 3 p.m., 16 miles away from the first incident, a semi hauling beer overturned near mile marker 92 on I-84 after driving too fast to negotiate a curve in the roadway. Clean-up took several hours, but fortunately, the roadway remained opened as the semi and its trailer left the roadway when it overturned.
Just after 6 p.m. troopers in the Price area received a call of a semi hauling sod overturned on SR-191 between Price and Duchesne. Both directions of SR-191 had to be closed for over an hour while crews up-righted the truck and cleaned up the sod. The cause of the crash was speeds too fast to negotiate the curve in the roadway. This semi was also found to be in an improper lane.
UHP would like to remind trucking companies to create safety practices that encourage drivers to avoid feeling like they need to push their semi’s capabilities to its limits in order to meet time constraints on deliveries.