Man blames UDOT for injuries sustained in I-15 CORE construction zone


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AMERICAN FORK — A motorcyclist is recuperating from injuries he suffered in an accident he said could have been prevented. Kris Messersmith claimed there were no orange barrels in place to keep him from riding down an old freeway on-ramp.

"It should have been barricaded off, and this never would have happened," he said.


It should have been barricaded off, and this never would have happened.

–Kris Massersmith


The accident happened at the 500 East Interchange in American Fork, which is in the I-15 Core construction zone in Utah County. He was riding down the southbound on-ramp and claimed there was a huge gap in the orange barrels.

"I've got a fractured left ankle, bruising and road rash from ankle to the hip. I've got a torn rotator cuff on my left shoulder," said Messersmith.

He said the construction company failed to put out enough orange barrels and that it was impossible to navigate in the dark.

"The officer stated to me it was wide enough for two ambulances and a patrol car, side by side," he said.

UDOT said the contractor insisted there were plenty of orange barrels in place that night.


From what they tell us, they heard from highway patrol that he was going too fast on that ramp.

–Scott Thompson, UDOT spokesman


"From what they tell us, they heard from highway patrol that he was going too fast on that ramp," UDOT spokesman Scott Thompson said.

After the accident, UDOT said crews did put more orange barrels in place, as a precaution.

"We went and put some more out some more barrels to tighten up those gaps, just to make sure no one was going to get through there after the fact," Thompson said.

UDOT pointed out this accident underscored the need for drivers to remember they are in a construction zone and the freeway is frequently changing. Thompson said drivers could expect a lot of changes of the next months and years as it rebuilds and puts in the new highway configuration into place.

A spokesman with the Utah Highway Patrol said the investigation into the accident is not yet complete.

Email: spenrod@ksl.com

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Sam Penrod

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