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UHP reports hundreds of crashes, dozens of injuries during holiday snowstorm

Police responded to hundreds of accidents across the Wasatch Front over the snowy holiday weekend, Utah Highway Patrol reported Tuesday.
Police responded to hundreds of accidents across the Wasatch Front over the snowy holiday weekend, Utah Highway Patrol reported Tuesday.
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SALT LAKE CITY — Police responded to hundreds of accidents across the Wasatch Front over the snowy holiday weekend, Utah Highway Patrol reported Tuesday.

From the time the Christmas storm stepped up around 6 p.m. Saturday until 6 p.m. Monday, UHP reported 76 crashes involving injuries in Salt Lake, Davis, Weber and Utah counties, including a fatal crash on state Route 201 on Christmas Day.

An additional 320 accidents causing damage but no injuries were reported, according to UHP, as well as 136 slide offs.

The storm's timing may have been inconvenient because it coincided with the holiday, said UHP Sgt. Todd Royce, but that actually may have decreased the number of crashes on the road compared with what is typically expected of winter storms of similar magnitude.

"There wasn't a lot of people traveling long distance during that time," Royce said. "A lot of people don't travel on Christmas morning."

From midnight to 10 a.m. Tuesday, an additional 41 crashes were reported, mostly due to black ice on state Route 201 and I-80 exits and on-ramps in Salt Lake County, according to UHP Sgt. Todd Royce. Four of those crashes included minor injuries, he said.

"A lot of times people's speeds will pick up after the snowpack is gone, but still they have to remember any moisture on these roads is going to freeze," Royce said. "The possibility of black ice out there on the road is pretty great."

The sergeant added that the snowfall affected most of Utah.

"We were getting snowpacked road all the way across the state," he said.

Major snowfall totals were reported in several northern Utah cities as a result of the storm, including 17 inches on the Bountiful bench, 14 inches in Cottonwood Heights, 14 inches in Spanish Fork, 13 inches in West Valley City, 12 inches in Sandy and 12 inches in Tooele.

Temperatures along the Wasatch Front are expected to warm slightly to the mid- to high 30s through end of the week, with rain and snow possible on New Year's Day, according to KSL-TV meteorologist Dan Guthrie.

Contributing: McKenzie Romero