Drivers on Southern Utah’s rural highways fall victim to Friday morning’s chaotic weather

File photo of a Utah Highway Patrol vehicle in St. George, Utah, Nov. 2, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Utah Highway Patrol troopers and responders from the Washington County Sheriff’s office were kept extremely busy Friday morning, responding to multiple accidents along Southern Utah’s roadways.

According to Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Tara Wahlberg, the adverse weather conditions led to several crashes on highways in the region, among them crashes on state Route 18 and state Route 20.

Just before 10 a.m., near milepost 6 just east of Cedar City, emergency personnel responded to the scene of a single-vehicle accident involving two passengers. Wahlberg told St. George News that no injuries were reported.

The “vehicle was traveling too fast for conditions,” she said.

At around the same time on SR-18, a second accident occurred just south of the town of Veyo, close to milepost 19.

Troopers were busy attending to other incidents and said they appreciated the help from responders in Washington county and deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s office who helped to clear the scene.

The weather Friday morning in Southern Utah was treacherous and caused many problems for Utah drivers, Wahlberg said.

“Everyone needs to remember that though the weather has been nice lately, we are still going to have bad weather days,” Wahlberg said, adding that when drivers find themselves in situations where the roads become slippery, they need to slow down, adjust for the conditions, and be aware of other drivers.

She further advised that all driver needs to be conscious to check the condition of their vehicles and ensure everything is functioning properly before departing.

“Prior to leaving your location, check your tires and make sure everything is in good condition,” she said. “We need to increase following distance and slow down when the roads are slick.

Utah law mandates that anyone witnessing an accident must stop and remain at the scene until they have reported the incident and lent assistance if anyone appears injured. However, Wahlberg said if someone sees a crash happen, they should be very cautious before stepping out to help.

“Make sure your vehicle isn’t in the pathway for potential danger,” she said. “We prefer everyone stay in their seat belts until help arrives.”

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