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Weather triggers crashes, snarls holiday traffic in northern Utah

Published January 18, 2010 4:36 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A snow storm in northern Utah on Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday made roads and highways slick and contributed to more than 100 crashes during the morning commute.

Many crashes were reported on north and southbound lanes of Interstate 15 and 215 beginning just before 6:30 a.m. and continued to pile up until after 9 a.m., according to the Utah Department of Transportation.

Most crashes occurred on I-15 between 5200 South and northern Davis County, including a six-car collision near Farmington. Another bad crash was on State Road 201 near 4600 West.

There were also minor collisions and slowing on I-215 near 1100 South and parts of I-15 between 10600 South and 16400 South. None of the crashes involved serious injuries, said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Plank. Some crashes caused delays of more than 15 minutes, but traffic in most areas seemed to improve later in the morning.

By 10 a.m., the UHP had reported 106 crashes, nine with injuries, in Salt Lake, Utah and Davis counties. In southern Utah, a crash involving three cars was reported on northbound I-15 lanes between Beaver and Cedar City. A smaller accident was reported in the same area near State Road 14.

Utah Highway Patrol urges drivers to exercise extra caution despite the lighter holiday traffic.

On holidays, motorists tend to drive a little faster than conditions allow for because regular commuter traffic patterns don't exist, Plank said.

The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City reported snow and rain falling across much of the western part of the state and the northern Wasatch Front on Monday morning.

Even though a winter storm has moved into northern Utah, officials were still warning residents about poor air quality across several counties.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has called a "red" day for Salt Lake, Davis and Weber counties on Monday. In extreme northern Utah, Cache County also was having a red day Monday.

Officials called a "green" day for Utah County. "Yellow" days were forecast for Salt Lake, Davis, Weber and Cache counties on Tuesday and Wednesday. Utah County was expected to continue to have green air quality days.

There was a slight chance of rain forecast for Salt Lake and Tooele counties Monday afternoon. More snow was expected for Monday night, with up to two inches in the valley after midnight.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.