A fast-moving winter storm that belted the Wasatch Front Saturday evening was responsible for the death of a Brigham City man and a myriad of traffic accidents.
And, although the snow was welcomed by area skiers, one skier was killed in a freak accident on the hill while another was struck by a car in a parking area at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon.Joel Leza, 21, Brigham City, was pronounced dead on arrival at McKay-Dee Hospital Saturday night after an accident in Ogden about 5 p.m.. Police Lt. Chuck Buzick said Leza lost control of his vehicle on the icy road, crossed the center lane near Third North and Harrisville Road in Ogden and struck a vehicle driven by Gwen B. Scothern, 39, of Ogden.
Scothern, passenger Tanya Scothern, 13, and Jeff Lund, 19, Brigham City, a passenger in Leza's car, were treated for multiple contusions and released from McKay-Dee Hospital, a spokesman said.
"They had to cut the Leza vehicle apart to get the driver out," Buzick said.
A 12-year-old Salt Lake boy died Saturday afternoon following a skiing accident at Brighton Ski Resort.
Michael Hunter, son of Craig and Darlene Hunter, was skiing behind a group of people when he apparently went off a jump and landed head first in the snow, said Salt Lake County deputy sheriff Dennis Bench. Friends notified the ski patrol when the boy did not return with the group.
In an unrelated incident, a 7-year-old girl was in serious condition with leg injuries suffered in an auto-pedestrian accident at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, a Salt Lake County deputy sheriff said.
Ashley Conway, Denver, was with her parents at the parking lot where skiers board buses to the resorts, said deputy Barr Petersen. Snow plows were going up the canyon, and a vehicle was traveling west on the mountain road.
"They were afraid they were going to get drenched by the snow plows so she ran across to the other side," Petersen said. "She ran right out in front of the car."
The child was taken to Alta View Hospital with a broken leg and doctors were examining her for any possible head injuries suffered in the 10:30 a.m. accident.
Scores of minor traffic accidents were reported in Salt Lake, Davis and Summit counties as the storm moved across the Wasatch Front Saturday evening. Lt. Norman Steen of the Utah Highway Patrol said extra officers had to be called in to handle the more than 100 traffic accidents that occurred during a three-hour time period between Draper and downtown Salt Lake City.
"The cold weather just came across and froze everything," he said. "It's been real hectic and crazy. We've hardly been able to keep up."
Salt Lake Police Lt. Tom Brown said there were 10 different auto accidents between 5:30 and 6 p.m. near Foothill Boulevard and 21st South. The North Temple viaduct and the Sixth North, Sixth South and Fifth South freeway ramps were all closed for a time Saturday because of accidents and icy conditions.
"As soon as it got dark all the moisture on the bridges turned to ice," Brown said. "The Fifth and Sixth South ramps slowed down to a virtual parking lot."
A Summit County sheriff's dispatcher said they responded to 10 to 15 accidents between 4 and 8 p.m. and said at least another 20 to 30 cars slid off the road. A Davis County sheriff's dispatcher estimated between 10 and 15 accidents in their jurisdiction between 4 and 6:30 p.m.