GARDEN CITY — Law enforcement and emergency crews were called to Bear Lake Square early Tuesday morning, after a semi-truck lost control and ran through the same intersection that has seen several similar accidents during the last two years. The crash was reported around 7 a.m. at the intersection of US-89 and SR-30 in Garden City.
Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Cade Brenchley said the semi was traveling east out of Logan Canyon and failed to slow down in time to stop at the intersection. The truck was carrying a 53-foot trailer loaded with frozen produce.
“[The driver] told us later that he had never driven a grade that steep before, so he put his truck in neutral and thought it was better to ride his brakes,” explained Brenchley. “The brakes were really hot by the time he got to the bottom of the hill. He was going about 45 mph when he hit the 35 mph zone, so he was trying to slow but at that point he didn’t have enough brakes left to stop.”
Surveillance video showed the truck passing through the intersection at approximately 25 mph. It continued into a vacant lot, where it traveled another 100 feet before coming to a stop.
Brenchley said the driver was from Michigan and unfamiliar with the area. Luckily there was no damage or injuries caused.
“This is one time we can say, we were grateful the snow was there because it slowed him down quite a bit, before he would have possibly gone into the neighboring condos and broke the fence. Had the snow not been there that very well could have been the case.”
Troopers suspect the driver’s inexperience as the primary cause of the accident. They are also inspecting the truck for possible mechanical failures. Citations are pending the completion of the investigation.
Tuesday’s accident is the fourth crash to occur at that intersection during the past 18 months. Last summer, a dump truck crashed into the storage complex, damaging several sheds. A week before, a semi-truck crashed into the same storage units, damaging additional property. Both drivers sustained minor injuries.
In October 2018, a semi-truck lost control and ran though the same intersection, running into a sporting goods store. The crash killed the driver, 31-year-old Ahmed M. Abdelgader. A passenger was also severely injured. The store was destroyed and never rebuilt.
The Utah Department of Transportation is already looking at ways to improve safety at the intersection through a possible runaway truck ramp. In the meantime, emergency signage has been installed to increase awareness of the intersection for truck drivers.