Rain and snow blanket valley, snarl traffic
Heavy snowfall Monday created hazardous driving conditions, bringing traffic to a standstill on major roadways and contributing to several wrecks, including one fatality.
A 28-year-old man died in West Valley City when the driver of an oncoming pickup truck lost control and crashed into the victim's passenger car. Earlier in the day, slick roads sent a driver out of control and into a state trooper's patrol car near Cedar City.
The snow was expected to continue until Tuesday morning, with up to 30 inches of snow falling in the mountains of northern and central Utah, according to the National Weather Service. Southern Utah was expected to get up to 20 inches of snow.
As of Monday night, snow had forced road closures on Interstate 15 near Beaver, on Interstate 70 near Clear Creek Canyon and on State Road 143 in Iron County between Brian Head and Mammoth Creek.
Meanwhile, weather was believed to have played a role in a fatal crash on State Road 111 in West Valley City. The driver of a northbound pickup lost control and veered into southbound lanes, colliding with a southbound passenger car near 6800 South. The 28-year-old driver of the car died at the scene, and his 29-year-old passenger was taken to a hospital with serious injuries to her lower body, said West Valley City police Sgt. Mike Powell. Investigators were trying to learn whether other factors contributed to the crash.
On Monday morning, a car on snow-slick Interstate 15 careened into the rear of a Utah Highway Patrol cruiser with a trooper inside, sending it into the median.
Trooper Kim Riddle was at the north interchange of the freeway in Cedar City just before 10 a.m., investigating an earlier accident when her car was hit by a northbound vehicle that was forced into Riddle's cruiser by another sliding vehicle, said UHP Sgt. Ryan Bauer. No one was injured.
As the storm continued Monday night, road crews and police scrambled in and out of the Wasatch canyons to keep up with snow accumulation. Parleys Canyon was closed temporarily to eastbound motorists, and traffic was restricted to vehicles with four-wheel drive and chains throughout the night. Little Cottonwood Canyon was closed as of 8:30 p.m. and was expected to reopen at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. Big Cottonwood Canyon was restricted to vehicles with four-wheel drive and chains.
Dozens of wrecks were reported on highways in northern Utah, with 27 crashes in Salt Lake County, 29 in Davis County, nine in Utah County and eight in Weber County, said UHP Cpl. Todd Johnson.
Snow and winds also knocked down power lines, cutting power to about 1,200 customers around North Ogden and Pleasant View, according to a Rocky Mountain Power spokesman.