Busy off-road weekend sees 25 hurt, 1 fatal drug overdose
An estimated 30,000 off-road enthusiasts converged on the dunes, trails and sagebrush flats of Little Sahara State Recreation Area for the Easter weekend, one of the busiest of the year.
About 70 law enforcement officers from the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, Juab County and the Utah Highway Patrol were on hand to provide emergency assistance and help curtail serious injuries, but dozens of off-roaders were hurt - some seriously - and one person died of a drug overdose, said BLM spokeswoman Lisa Reid.
"These numbers are good," she said. "They are really low numbers. . . . But, people underestimate the hill they're going up."
Fourteen people were treated since Friday at the BLM-owned recreation center medical office for minor injuries involving accidents, Reid said.
Six more were taken by ambulance and five others were flown to area hospitals for more serious injuries.
Broken arms, bruises, sprains and split lips are not unusual, especially during three-day weekends such as Easter, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, Reid said.
In one case this weekend, a woman and a child were injured when the off-road vehicle they were on Saturday overturned. The woman refused medical treatment, and the child was flown to Primary Children's Medical Center.
In another, a man driving an all-terrain vehicle just outside the recreation-center boundaries Saturday flipped his vehicle and broke both of his arms, Reid said.
He was flown to LDS Hospital.
Details of the overdose death were sketchy, but Reid said the overdose victim died sometime before 10 a.m. Saturday.
The name and age of the person was unknown.
About 30,000 people converged on the 60,000 acre area in the Sevier Desert recreation area, Reid said.