One person died during the Memorial Day weekend on Utah's highways, a much safer weekend than the previous one, when highway accidents in the state took 12 lives, the Utah Highway Patrol said.
Dennis Blaine McFarland, 48, Salt Lake City, was killed when a pickup truck he was riding in rolled Friday night on U.S. 191, two miles south of Duchesne, the Highway Patrol said.Other than that rollover, which also seriously injured Robert Nielsen, 24, Duchesne, other accidents around the state were relatively minor - even though hail and snow contributed to several accidents in Davis and Cache counties.
Highway Patrol Sgt. Dennis Platt said three factors contributed to the mostly accident-free weekend when Utahns flocked for vacation areas throughout the state.
Utah's "Arrive Alive" program, "a concentrated effort to remove drunken drivers, inconsiderate drivers and speeders from the highways," kept Utah's roads safe, Platt said.
Secondly, the nationwide "Operation Care," a driving program promoting seat-belt use and safe driving, in which Utah also participates, curbed fatal accidents, he said.
"And, I think the weather had a great deal to do with it. It kept people out of areas where we normally experience fatalities," Platt said.
Snow, rock slides and high winds closed several southern Utah highways, including roads in recreational areas where motorists have been killed in past traffic accidents, he said.