BRIGHAM CITY, Box Elder County — Three semi-trucks and 26 cars were involved in a series of crashes on a one-mile stretch of I-15 that sent one woman to the hospital in critical condition Saturday, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.
Ten crashes were triggered by a localized snow storm that left three inches of snow on the ground in less than half an hour between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m., according to Lt. Lee Perry of the Utah Highway Patrol.
A domino-effect of crashes began at the exit at 1100 South by Brigham City, Perry said. There were two cars and a semi-truck that had jack-knifed involved in the accident.
"They touched their brakes to slow down and it was icy and slick and they sort of lost control," he said.
People in other cars behind the accident saw the crash and hit their brakes, triggering seven more crashes in a one-mile stretch between the Perry rest area and Brigham City exit.
There was a six-car crash, a five-car crash, a four-car crash, and multiple three-car and two-car crashes, according to Perry. All of the crashes were in the northbound lanes, except for a semi that jack-knifed in a southbound lane. The semi was the only vehicle involved.
The six-car crash, which involved a tanker truck, sent one woman to McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden in critical condition.
"That was probably the worst of all of the crashes because that involved a small Honda Accord where the driver was trapped in the vehicle," Perry said. "She had to be extracted and would normally have been flown by helicopter if the weather had permitted, but we actually had to take her by ground ambulance."
Four of the other crashes involved minor injuries, with seven or eight people being transported to local hospitals, he said.
The roads got slick and snowy in a hurry, Perry said.
"It started off with one and then we had the domino effect with various crashes," he said. "It iced over — there was probably a good inch, inch and a half of ice on the road here when I got to the scene and I was here probably 20 minutes after it happened."
Most of the ice has been removed with the help of UDOT, according to Perry.
"People have got to slow down when there is that kind of weather," Perry said. "You can't expect the roads to stay dry and give you good traction all of the way in."
The northbound lanes of I-15 were closed with traffic rerouted onto SR-89 through Perry and Willard until 12:00 pm, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.