Power outages cause confusion, contribute to accidents among Salt Lake City drivers

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Widespread power outages caused confusion for a lot of drivers, Monday, particularly at 2100 S. State Street, where two cars collided and hit a pedestrian.

“This was a case where the power was non-existent, so there’s no lights at all…” said Det. Greg Wilking, with the Salt Lake City Police Dept.

Operating as a four-way stop for several hours, Wilking says the intersection stayed clear until one driver came barreling through, completely out-of-turn.

“We had a vehicle that was headed northbound on State Street, and the vehicle we believe ran the stop area was heading westbound on 2100 South,” Wilking explained.

Authorities say the two vehicles crashed at the intersection, slid over to the north side, and then smashed into a pedestrian crossing State Street.

“[The victim is a woman in her] sixties… she’s in pretty good condition…” Wilking said.

Fortunately, that woman was pushing a cart police say took the majority of the impact, but investigators say the severity of the situation could have easily caused more serious injuries, or worse.

“The main message, really, is… operate as a four-way stop, take your time. I know people are in a hurry to get through these intersections. It slows you down, but take your time, one car at a time going through,” Wilking said.

Power was back on at the intersection by Wednesday afternoon, but police say other nearby traffic lights were most-likely still down.

The power outage also caused problems for the Salt Lake County government offices. Mayor Ben McAdams tweeted that phones and computers were down, so all non-essential employees were sent home.

The County Clerk’s Office, however, remained open and issuing marriage licenses all day long.

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