What to do if you get into a winter weather crash

Local News

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (News4Utah) – State Troopers with the Utah Highway Patrol had a busy Monday morning. They responded to numerous crashes due to the winter storm.

“It’s just accident after accident,” said one dispatcher with UHP. 

Talking over the phone to News4Utah’s Brittany Johnson, dispatchers confirmed that troopers have been responding to slide-offs and crashes since about 5:00 a.m. and haven’t been able to put together an official number as to how many incidents they responded to.

“They just keep happening one after the other,” said another dispatcher.

While the President’s Day holiday kept many people at home, avid skiers and snowboarders made their way to the slopes. The drive to get to Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons was nothing short of a disaster. Multiple crashes and slide offs caused hours of backups for people looking to shred some snow.

Heidi VanErt, who lives up Big Cottonwood Canyon, said people heading up the mountains need to make sure their vehicles are prepared.

*Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon were closed around 11 a.m. as crews worked to plow the roads. Both re-opened by noon (4×4 or chains required).

“It’s the pain in the neck. People that don’t have snow tires going up the canyon…there were slide-offs all over the place. It was unattractive,” VanErt said. “Don’t try to go up the canyons without all wheel drive or chains just because you think you got a great vehicle,” she added.

The Department of Public Safety says if you get into a minor accident and there’s minor property damage, or no one is injured and your vehicle is drivable, take the next exit off the freeway and call 911. A UHP Trooper will be dispatched to your location.

DPS says it’s a lot safer for you to be pulled over somewhere off of the highway than on the side of one.

As always, to see Utah’s Most Accurate Forecast visit www.good4utah.com/weather.

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