8 crashes, 10 deaths: Halloween weekend the deadliest on the roads in Utah’s history

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utah Highway Patrol said the 2021 Halloween weekend was the deadliest on the roads in the state’s history.

UHP noted eight crashes resulted in the death of 10 people, around half of which were kids and half of the crashes happening at crosswalks.

On Friday a 66-year-old woman died in Millcreek.

The next day on Saturday in Taylorsville, two kids were hit while trick or treating, and one later died from his injuries at the hospital Monday.

We also know a 16-year-old is recovering in the hospital after getting hit by a car in Provo Tuesday.

Also, a 15-year-old girl was hit in Layton Tuesday.

UHP said this deadly weekend is a reminder for all drivers to be cautious, no matter their age.

“We need your help,” said Utah Highway Patrol Major Jeff Nigbur.

The memorial continues to grow at the scene of one of the crosswalk crashes.

Thirteen-year-old Karl Finch died after getting hit at the crosswalk near 2700 W. Matterhorn Drive.

UHP said even a crosswalk as basic looking as that one can be dangerous.

Out of the five crosswalk crashes, four of them involved kids.

UHP said crosswalks can spell trouble for drivers because sometimes they’re hidden, they could be poorly lit, and they could be on an incline or decline.

Major Nigbur said always take the crosswalks slow, don’t drive through them until the pedestrian is all the way across, and know that a car can’t stop as fast as a person.

“Obviously pedestrians have the ultimate right of way no matter what, so there’s no argument there for a driver behind the wheel,” said Nigbur. “They have the right of way. It’s just plain and simple.”

There are crosswalks all throughout Utah and many have lights, many have flags, many have white painted lines, however, people are still getting hit while crossing them.

Why?

Nigbur said there are several distractions, drugs and alcohol could have been used, or the driver could be driving too fast.

Nigbur said the challenging thing with crosswalks is the several obstacles that drivers face.

“There’s trees,” said Nigbur. “There’s bushes. There’s fences. There’s fence posts. There’s cars that are parked on the side of the road and you should always treat those crosswalks like somebody is behind those obstacles and be prepared for that because ultimately they may walk out and they may not know that you’re there.”

According to Utah Highway Safety Office, there have been 93 pedestrian-involved crashes statewide since October 1. Of those, 38% occurred while the pedestrian was in a crosswalk.

They also tell ABC4 that in 2020, 43% of pedestrians hurt in pedestrian-involved crashes were under the age of 21.

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