All lanes reopened following massive pileup in Lehi

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Team coverage A major pileup this morning on Interstate 15 in Lehi delayed southbound traffic all day long. One lane was closed for several hours, and troopers reopened that lane just before 5 p.m.

A series of accidents happened around 9:00 this morning. There were no serious injuries from this, which isn't bad considering there were 19 accidents between the two Lehi exits this morning.

The biggest wreck turned into a chain-reaction accident between the two Lehi exits in the southbound lanes.

Cars started slowing down and that is what started the first crash and, within a matter of moments, more than 12 cars were involved in crashes, in addition to two semi trucks.

Drivers say they were watching in their rearview mirrors as other cars were coming up on them and they were bracing for a collision. Truck driver Jason Wilder said, "The roads were wet and some of it was slick; And in front of us [traffic] came to a stop because of the two trucks that went into the ditch. I got stopped and looked in the mirror, and the Penske truck couldn't stop. And 20 feet in front of me, there were five vehicles that couldn't get stopped; and everyone was following too close."

Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Al Christianson said, "A total of 20 accidents, but these 19 were connected with each other -- as far as people reacting to the accidents in front of them, and traffic slowing down, and drivers see that accident coming up on them -- and they get rear ended and then we have two-to-three car crash as the result of that."

This diesel tanker rear ended a flat-bed semi with lumber, which appeared to be the worst collision.

The biggest challenge was draining thousands of gallons of diesel fuel from one semi truck, so it could be towed away and then unloading several pallets of plywood from the other semi, which was down the embankment.



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