Facebook Twitter

Weather slows motorists across Wasatch Front

SHARE Weather slows motorists across Wasatch Front
Commuters move slowly along on I-15 near 3900 South in Salt Lake County Tuesday morning.

Commuters move slowly along on I-15 near 3900 South in Salt Lake County Tuesday morning.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Winter weather stormed through the state Tuesday and although it slowed traffic down, accidents seemed to be under control throughout the snowy morning.

The Utah Highway Patrol estimated a manageable 50 to 55 accidents on the freeway throughout Salt Lake and Utah counties Tuesday morning.

"We have not had anywhere near as many as we did in our last storm," Utah Highway Patrol trooper Cameron Roden said. "They have come in spurts when the snow hits."

Roden said the snow plows were out in full force throughout the morning and the roads seemed to be fairly clear during the morning commute.

The Davis County Sheriff's Office also saw a limited amount of incidents. They said they had received calls on about 20 accidents or slide-offs throughout the morning.

"There were a lot of delays but it is good because we know people are slowing down," Roden said.

Drivers were cautious in Utah County with just over 50 accidents across the county from around 6 a.m. till noon, and nearly all of them were non-injury accidents.

Provo led the way with nine property damage accidents and three personal injury accidents, as drivers slipped and slid their way to work early Tuesday.

Orem had around 10 minor accidents and American Fork logged in four. However, other cities like Alpine and Highland had extremely cautious residents and zero accidents. Lehi and Pleasant Grove each had one accident, dispatchers said.

"It's been amazing," said Pleasant Grove dispatcher Judy Schow. "I don't know if everybody took notes last week or something, but they've been going really slow. Maybe last week they learned."

Drivers in Saratoga Springs had an extra level of difficulty, trying to maneuver construction along Redwood Road which extends from Camp Williams at the county line to 400 South.

Saratoga Springs Police Sgt. Kerry Cole said one of their three accidents involved a couple whose car slid off Redwood Road and ended up in a deep hole.

"(They) weren't hurt," Cole said. "But their car was sticking up in the air. They were very lucky."

He said they're still trying to determine if the hole is a drainage hole or the future home of some pipes, but they believe it is construction-related.

"It makes it a little frustrating because of course people are watching for the cones and with the slick roads and conditions, (construction) makes it a little more daring," Cole said. "But everyone seemed to do quite well."

By mid-day the commute was still dragging as I-15 from 3500 South to 7200 South became an ice rink when a snow squall set up over the freeway, dumping as much as two inches of snow on the road. The parts that weren't snow packed were iced over, triggering accidents northbound at 4500 South and near 7200 South.

A semitrailer carrying two trailers got stuck in the snow in the middle of the freeway, its tires spinning madly. Traffic southbound ground to a halt with drivers cutting each other off as they tried to go south on the freeway or over to I-215 westbound, which was also snow-packed.

Contributing: Ben Winslow. E-mail: ethomas@desnews.com; sisraelsen@desnews.com