Snow blankets much of state; highways clogged with delays, crashes

A semitractor-trailer rollover in Box Elder County closes Interstate 15 for two hours early Sunday morning, Willard, Utah, March 4, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — While most of the state was blanketed by snow over the weekend to varying degrees, many northern residents were digging out Monday morning trying to get to where they need to go. Plows had pretty much caught up from the overwhelming snowfall Sunday in time for the morning commute, but local areas and residences in northern Utah are still shoveling out from the weekend blast. And previous to clearing the roads, Interstate 15 was the scene of several crashes.

Weather Underground reports that Salt Lake County had about a foot of new snow, while Draper received 13.5 inches. In Southern Utah, Brian Head received 3 inches of new snow, while Cedar City received 2 inches of new snow over the weekend. Farther south, areas like St. George caught the tail end of the storm and only had to deal with wind and cloudy skies.

A semitractor-trailer that jackknifed on Interstate 15 was hit by a small car that could not stop Sunday morning, Willard, Utah, March 4, 2018 | Photo courtesy Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

Law enforcement was kept busy with the weather, especially up north. Utah Highway Patrol reported 135 crashes in Salt Lake and Utah counties over the weekend, 40 in Davis County and 13 in Weber county.

In an especially dramatic scene, two semitractor-trailers overturned on I-15 in Box Elder County early Sunday morning. UHP said the first semi jackknifed about 5:30 a.m. and rolled at milepost 357 southbound, blocking the entire freeway. A small passenger car was unable to stop and struck the cab.

A second semi then went off the right shoulder and overturned in a ditch. Interstate 15 was closed for two hours at exit 357. No injuries were reported in either crash.

Drivers are reminded that if they see emergency vehicles on the road or the shoulder, they need to slow down and move over if they can. If they can’t, they need to slow and move over in their own lane as much as possible to give space to law enforcement and other emergency vehicles.

Drivers involved in a crash need to move off the freeway if they are able to. If the damage is minimal to where the vehicles are still operational and there are no injuries to anyone involved, UHP says move the crash off to the next exit, to a gas station or parking lot, or some place safe off the freeway. Once they are there, call 911 and they will send a trooper out to handle the crash.

It is much safer for the trooper and the parties involved to deal with a crash off the freeway than in the lanes where traffic is traveling pass the crash. It also opens up the lanes so traffic can flow freely, eliminating secondary crashes that are caused from the back up.

Monday’s weather is supposed to be much milder. Salt Lake City is forecast to be clear throughout the week, as is Cedar City and St. George. Highs in St. George could reach the low 70s by the end of the week.

Email: rwayman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

 

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