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Driver trying to bypass traffic rolls Jeep

Published July 31, 2008 12:23 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A 37-year-old driver, who used Google to find a new way to Bountiful in the midst of Tuesday night's heavy traffic congestion, ended up behind schedule anyway after his Jeep got trapped on a dirt road.

A 210,000-pound big rig had rolled earlier in the day in the northbound lanes of Interstate 15 near Center Street in Davis County. It backed up traffic to the 3300 South area in South Salt Lake, according to reports. According to a Salt Lake City police report, the driver pulled up Google Earth on his cell phone and found what he thought to be an alternate route.

Jeff Bedard, spokesman with Salt Lake City police, said the driver had determined through aerial maps that a dirt road connected Salt Lake and Davis counties in the area of Ensign Peak and the ongoing City Creek fire.

But as the man attempted to navigate the track, he tried to turn back and rolled the Jeep off the dirt surface, Bedard said. Police could not recover the vehicle and advised the man to contact officials to get the Jeep back, he said.

The driver, who was uninjured, was found not far from the flames of the City Creek Canyon fire. Bedard said the man apparently drove through gates that marked the path as restricted. Charges have not been filed, but they are pending as police review the accident report and speak with prosecutors, Bedard said.

"It's human nature to want to avoid traffic, but common sense should prevail," he said.

Steve Gehrke