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Road conditions, speed send car into icy Logan River

By Alex Cabrero  |  Posted Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:13pm


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LOGAN — Slippery roads and speed sent a car into the river in Logan Canyon Tuesday afternoon. The accident happened on U.S. Highway 89 at milepost 473.

Police say the driver was heading up to Beaver Mountain to try to go skiing with some friends. Colleen Larkin told responding officers she hit the snow and ice and started to spin. She over-corrected, and that sent her car into the river.

"I just couldn't believe it happened," Larkin said. "I didn't really think that we were going to go in. I thought that we'd be fine and stay on the road, but then the car started going towards the river, and I couldn't believe we were going in there."

Larkin and her friends were all able to get out of the car safely, and none was injured. The car had to be towed from the river.

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Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Kendrick said the pavement here doesn't see a lot of sun, and it's often snowy and icy. "This is just a location in the canyon where one has to be very mindful of the car that they're driving, the condition the car is in, and certainly the road condition," he said. "It's like any canyon you drive in, in Utah weather can change quickly and be icy, and you have to be very careful on these roads and these turns."

A similar accident happened at this location on Jan.1, but the occupants of the vehicle were not so lucky. A man and three children had to be rescued from the icy water. The children spent time in the hospital following the accident.

A spokesman for the Utah Department of Transportation said the agency has installed guard rails in some areas to try to keep cars from going off the side of the road, but that's in the lower and upper parts of the canyon where they have made recent improvements.

In the narrow part of the canyon where the accident happened, there's really not a whole lot of room UDOT has to add railings. The agency has installed signs warning drivers about the sharp curves, but because it is an environmentally sensitive area in the middle part of the canyon there's not a whole lot they can do.

This spring, UDOT plans to lay down a high-friction surface in the area to help drivers and keep their cars on the road.

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