Preliminary findings of Garden City semi crash.
On Oct 10, 2018 at approximately 18:36 p.m. a 2000 Kenworth Semi, owned by MA Logistics of Omaha Nebraska, was eastbound on US-89 traveling from Cache Valley toward Garden City. The semi had an eventual destination of Colorado with its load of butter. As the driver approached the T-intersection with SR-30, known as Bear Lake Blvd in Garden City, the driver failed to slow the vehicle sufficiently to safely stop at the intersection. The semi entered the intersection at a high rate of speed and the driver attempted to make a right turn onto Bear Lake Boulevard (SR-30). The semi went over the curb as its trailer began to overturn. It slammed into a building and the trailer struck the stop sign. It continued to overturn and struck the building. The trailer swung to the left, causing a partial jackknife as the semi continued farther into the building. As it came to rest, it caused debris to strike and damage an adjacent building. The momentum of the contents of the trailer (butter), caused the butter to continue out of the trailer into the building. The first building, Pugstone’s, sustained extensive damage and destruction of products. Pugstone’s was a total loss and had to be demolished.
Several witnesses who had either been passed by the semi or had followed the semi described a very erratic driving pattern through Logan Canyon. They indicated at times the driver of the semi was driving into oncoming traffic, driving across multiple lanes, and swerving into motorists as the semi tried to pass. Witnesses further reported smoke coming from the trailer wheels as the semi came down the canyon.
A Utah Highway Patrol safety inspection was performed on the vehicle, specifically the brakes, it was determined that the truck and trailer had functioning brakes. However, at the time of the crash they appeared to have been hot and were therefore not functioning normally.
Our findings are: The driver was not familiar with driving in a mountainous environment and drove in such a manner as to cause the brakes to overheat. Those brakes failed to operate properly as he descended the hill and attempted to stop at the intersection, thus causing the vehicle to slam into the building.
The passenger of the semi is still a patient at Mckay Dee Hospital in serious condition.