1 killed after van falls off Orem I-15 overpass

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UTAH COUNTY -- A 47-year-old man died in an early morning wreck on I-15 in Utah County. It happened in the middle of the huge construction zone.

Troopers are still investigating to see if the road work was a factor in the fatal crash, but the newly configured freeway, especially a shorter on-ramp at 1600 North, combined with heavy traffic, appear to be a part of it.

Troopers say it all began Tuesday morning when the driver of car tried merging onto the freeway. The driver had to cross into the lane to avoid a semi, but still made contact with the semi's wheels. That sent the car into the cement barrier, forcing the driver of a full-size Chevy van to swerve to miss it.

The van rolled in two lanes before going over the Jersey barrier of the freeway. It fell on the railroad tracks below, near Geneva road.

Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Todd Johnson explained, "The other two vehicles were able to come to a stop; the semi truck and the other passenger car."

The driver, identified as 47-year-old Daniel Solis of Springville, died at the scene.

The accident snarled the morning commute for northbound travelers in Utah County. It took troopers three hours to investigate, and then clear the crash scene and get the freeway completely reopened to traffic.

Troopers closed a couple of lanes again Tuesday afternoon to use photogrammetry -- it's the computer-aided investigative process to look for more answers into this accident.

Johnson stressed that in construction zones like this one people have to drive with extra caution.

"We just want the public when they are traveling through these construction areas to please slow down and be mindful of other vehicles," said Johnson, who added you have to give yourself a good following distance. "Allow yourself an escape route if necessary."


Story compiled with contributions from Sam Penrod and Randall Jeppesen.


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