LOGAN — A semitruck crashed into the Logan River Wednesday, adding to the dozens of crashes and slide-offs that have happened in Logan Canyon in recent years.
While the drive through the canyon can be beautiful, it can also cause a lot of problems.
“I love the canyon to drive through,” said state Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry. “But I don’t miss all the crashes in that canyon.”
Perry recently retired as a lieutenant with the Utah Highway Patrol.
Logan Canyon was in his area and a place he and his fellow troopers were often called to.
“We’ve seen some horrific things that have happened, people going into the river, as well as crashing into each other,” he said.
Wednesday was just the latest accident.
The driver of an 18-wheeler, who troopers believe was going too fast, lost control on a curve and ended up in the river below, as many drivers have.
“It’s places where they can pick up their speed a little bit on a straightaway and then suddenly they’re into a corner,” said Perry.
Utah’s Department of Transportation has tried to make Logan Canyon safer in the past few years, adding cable barriers, rumble strips, signage and even a high-friction surface in one stretch known for crashes and slide-offs.
“Anything that we can do to improve safety, we’re doing,” said UDOT spokesperson John Gleason.
However, UDOT can only do so much, because a good chunk of the canyon is U.S. Forest Service property.
“In some ways, we’re confined to the road up there as it is because of the natural barriers with the rocks, with the river,” said Gleason. “Driving Logan Canyon is not like driving on the interstate. Because of the natural features, there are constraints. Unfortunately, if you make a mistake behind the wheel, there’s not much time of space to recover.”
Anything that we can do to improve safety, we’re doing
–John Gleason, UDOT spokesman
Gleason said UDOT will look into this latest crash to see if anything can be done, though Perry believes if drivers would just slow down, fewer accidents would happen.
“It really boils down to when you take that canyon, those warning signs that say slow down — we're serious. You’ve got to slow down,” said Perry. “If they just slow down and drive the speed limit in that canyon, none of this would happen.”
State troopers told KSL they expect the driver of the semitruck that crashed Wednesday will recover from his injuries.