Fatal crashes in Tooele County highest they've been in years

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TOOELE — Fatal crashes in Tooele County are higher than they've been in years.

Utah State troopers say it's a combination of three things: speed, seatbelts and driving impaired. Troopers in Tooele County have been keeping track of how many drivers they've pulled over doing 100 miles an hour. So far this year, it's more than 400 drivers and some of them were drunk.

"We definitely have a problem out here," said Lt. Corey Nye of the Utah Highway Patrol.

As of today, UHP in Tooele County have ticketed 402 of these speeders. Nye says he's sick of it because some of the super-speeders end up dead.

I'm tired of doing death notifications, you know? It's sad because it's the same story over and over again.

–Lt. Corey Nye, Utah Highway Patrol

"I'm tired of doing death notifications, you know," Nye said. "It's never fun to being with, you know what? It's sad because it's the same story over and over again."

Last year, there were 3 deaths because of crashes in Tooele County. So far this year, there have been 13.

Nye thinks those numbers are up because speeds continue to go up. Last year, troopers only wrote 284 tickets for speeders over 100 mph.

"I was shocked at the numbers," said Cameron Fawson, Utah Highway Patrol.

Trooper Fawson transferred to the Tooele section a month ago from Salt Lake County. He's seen speeders before, but not like what he's seen along I-80.

"It is a long stretch," Fawson said. "It is a straightaway and people are in a hurry to get across the desert, I guess."

This year, troopers pulled over one driver doing 148 and another was going 120 and got a DUI.

Other drivers have been pulled over for doing 110 and 102 just to save a few minutes of travel. Both of these drivers received DUIs also.

"Is it really worth it? I'm telling you it's not," Nye said.

Is it really worth it? I'm telling you it's not.

–Lt. Corey Nye

Troopers in Tooele County also want to stress wearing a seatbelt. Nye says this message always seems to be new to someone he has to call to say their loved one died because they weren't wearing one.

All throughout 2013, KSL will report on stories filled with important information to help drivers stay safe on Utah's roads. KSL has partnered with UDOT and their "Zero Fatalities" program in an effort to try and help keep Utah drivers safe with an initiative called KSL's Road to Zero Fatalities.


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