The heavy blast of snow that blanketed Utah Friday night snarled traffic and caused repeated car wrecks including one fatality.
"We probably have 20 holding right now in Salt Lake County," Cori Start, an agent with the Department of Public Safety, said Saturday morning. "We have everything from slide-offs to injury accidents."
About 5-6 inches of snow fell overnight along the Wasatch Front, and the mountains and ski resort areas got more, according to the National Weather Service.
"The snowplows got a little caught off guard the snow is supposed to be down south," Start said. "Just be glad it's not a work day."
She said the department called out extra troopers to help.
Many accidents were the result of people driving too fast. "They slow down, but they still go too fast," Start said. "Speed is a factor in almost everything. Equipment is also a factor. People are not prepared, they've got bald tires."
A crash that occurred about 8:30 p.m. Friday claimed the life of Shane Hall, 24, of Nephi, who was a passenger in a car traveling north on State route 198 between between Payson and Santaquin.
The Department of Public Safety said the steering locked up on a pick-up truck traveling south on the same two-lane road. The truck went over the center line and crashed head-on into the car.
Shane Hall was pronounced dead at the scene. His brother, Shawn Hall, 20, who was driving, was taken to Utah Valley Hospital in critical condition.
The truck driver had minor injuries.
The department said no alcohol or drugs were involved, the road was wet and the occupants of the car were not wearing seat belts.
Salt Lake City Police Lt. LaMar Ewell said an accident at 900 East and 200 South in which a car hit a light pole caused a power outage from approximately 900 East to 200 to 400 South.
"One of the dilemmas with this accident is that they think the car is holding the pole up. They can't move the car until they get some heavier equipment to hold the pole up," he said. The driver was injured and may possibly have broken bones.
It was an otherwise quiet morning for the Salt Lake police on Saturday, except for all the weather-related traffic incidents, he said.
"We haven't had anything really serious it's mostly slide-in fender benders. It's been pretty constant all through the morning hours," Ewell said.
Snowfall at the Salt Lake City International Airport measured 5 inches at 11 a.m. Saturday morning, according to Monica Traphagan, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
"The totals we've been seeing along the Wasatch Front and Salt Lake Valley are pretty consistently between 4-6 inches. In the mountains there was a little more than that. With the ski resorts, there was between 7-8 inches at Snowbird, Alta and Brighton, and 12 inches at Sundance," she said.Traphagan anticipated the snow would begin to dissipate sometime between mid- to late afternoon along the Wasatch Front and by noon, the snowfall had stopped in the Ogden area.
E-mail: [email protected]