Motorcyclist’s widow sues Utah over deadly debris on Bangerter Highway

The widow of a motorcyclist who died after hitting a wooden pallet on Bangerter Highway — which she contends was left by road construction crews — is suing the state and contractors for more than $300,000.

Dayna Schmidt, widow of Craig Schmidt of West Jordan, filed suit in 3rd District Court against the state, the Utah Department of Transportation, Clyde Companies and Ralph L. Wadworth Construction.

She says her husband was riding his motorcycle about 11 p.m. on Bangerter near 8900 South on May 12, 2018, when the accident occurred.

“Unbenownst to him, a wooden pallet was lying flat in his lane of travel. Due to the late hour of night and poor lighting in the area, Schmidt did not see the pallet until it was too late to avoid and struck it with his motorcycle,” the lawsuit says. “The pallet that Schmidt struck was the kind used during construction of the Four Interchanges Bangerter Highway Project.”

It says the collision threw Schmidt’s body to the pavement, and he later died from the injuries in a hospital.

The lawsuit said the state and its contractors “had a duty to ensure the safety of drivers on Utah highways and ensure the roadways are free of debris and hazardous conditions.”

The lawsuit seeks “in excess of $300,000,” including about $29,000 in burial and medical expenses.