Five Semi Incidents in a 12-Hour Period Severely Impact Utah’s Roadways Tuesday
Tuesday, July 16th, 2019 was a long day for many UHP Troopers as they were dedicated to providing traffic control to and investigating five preventable semi related incidents.
The first incident occurred on I-84 at Exit 108 near Taggart’s at 7 a.m. It involved a semi truck hauling waste containers that was traveling too fast to negotiate the curve of the roadway. It crashed through the center median’s cement barrier, lost one of its containers, and that container impacted another semi dump truck. The incident closed both east and westbound portions of I-84 for hours while crews repaired the barriers and cleaned up the large amount of crash debris and fluid.
The second incident occurred around 1 p.m. when a semi had its trailer separate from the tractor portion of the rig on I-15 northbound at 8600 South in Sandy. All but two lanes on I-15 were shutdown for a short time while crews worked to remove the damaged trailer.
While Salt Lake County Troopers were working on clearing the incident at 8600 S and I-15, they received reports of another semi incident on eastbound I-80 near Saltair. At 1:45 pm, a semi hauling salt overturned when the driver dropped a lit cigarette and attempted to retrieve it from the floor of his cab. Traffic was impacted by the rollover until nearly 5 pm.
At 3 p.m., 16 miles away from the first incident, a semi hauling beer overturned near mile marker 92 on I-84 after driving too fast to negotiate a curve in the roadway. Clean-up took several hours, but fortunately the roadway remained opened as the semi and its trailer left the roadway when it overturned.
UHP was not quite done with semi related incidents, when just after 6 p.m. Troopers in the Price area received a call of a semi hauling sod overturned on SR-191 between Price and Duchesne. Both directions of SR-191 had to be closed for over an hour while crews up-righted the truck and off-loaded the sod. The cause of the crash was again speeds too fast to negotiate the curve in the roadway. This semi was also found to be in an improper lane.
In the case of the detached trailer, UHP reminds drivers of the importance of a pre-trip inspection. And in the case of the dropped cigarette, remember, nothing is more important than your primary responsibility to operate your vehicle, especially in a commercial motor vehicle. After immediately slowing down and stopping on the shoulder of the interstate, one can safely recover a dropped item.
All of these incidents were 100% preventable! UHP would like to remind trucking companies to create safety practices that encourage drivers to avoid feeling like they need to push their semi’s capabilities to its limits in order to meet time constraints on deliveries.