UHP's plea to drivers: Slow down on icy roads

Published October 26, 2012 11:44 am

Pile ups • Nearly 20 cars collide on icy I-80 ramp.
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The Utah Highway Patrol on Friday was cautioning motorists to slow down as excessive speed on frosty roads added to a spate of recent freeway crashes that stalled commuters.

Interstate 215 in Salt Lake City, near 1300 West, saw a car slide as it lost traction and crash into a retaining wall. While the driver escaped serious injury in the 7 a.m. accident, the incident closed three eastbound lanes for more than an hour as the morning commute began.

Thursday night, 18 vehicles were involved in a chain-reaction series of crashes along Wright Brothers Drive on ramp to eastbound I-80. Three people — including a paramedic who fell on ice while responding to the scene — were taken to hospitals for treatment of minor injuries from the 9 p.m. accidents. It took emergency workers three hours to clear the scene.

On a snowy day that resulted in nearly 100 crashes on northern Utah highways, Utah Highway Patrol Cpl. Todd Johnson said the cause was a traveling tale told too many times: "Speeds too fast for existing weather conditions, in this case on an icy ramp."

Other than the I-215 crash, Friday dawned with motorists seeming to exercise more caution with few weather-related crashes or slideoffs being reported.

remims@sltrib.com