WOODS CROSS — Road debris caused an ugly chain reaction crash on I-15 near Woods Cross Thursday that sent a semitrailer driver to the hospital with broken bones and internal injuries.
It happened just before 10 a.m. in the northbound lanes at mile marker 314. Utah Highway Patrol troopers said a pickup was approaching a tire in the road and swerved to miss it.
"The blue Chevy pickup took evasive action to avoid (the tire), struck the semi truck, causing the semi truck to take evasive action,” UHP Lt. Ed Michaud said. “He lost control, ran into the wall ... overturned and went over the barrier."
Diesel fuel leaked and caused a small fire, but it was quickly doused.
The semi driver, 31-year-old Javier Acosta, was able to hoist himself out of his rig, but soon after needed to be flown to the hospital.
Michaud said the driver and three passengers in the pickup were not harmed. Two of them appeared rattled at the side of the road. One of them said the road debris just came up so fast.
Michaud said the best advice in these cases, depending on the road debris, is not to overcorrect. Most times, he said, drivers fare better hitting the debris.
“Obviously it’s a road hazard,” Michaud said. “People’s reaction to it creates the bigger hazard.”
The crash closed down the interstate, as a chopper landed. It took hours to completely clear the scene.
Troopers were investigating to determine whether any possible citations will be issued.