Safety improvements coming to Garden City hot spot

GARDEN CITY, Utah — Another close call has residents shaken and looking for answers.

Tuesday, a semi-truck sped out of control on State Route 89 and crashed into a building.

Thankfully, no pedestrians on the usually busy sidewalk were injured.

This is at least the fifth violent crash involving a truck at that identical spot since October of 2018.

“If a family was right there, the truck was going so fast, nobody could have moved,” said Marty Phipps, owner of the nearby Bear Lake Market. “It could have wiped out an entire family.”

The surveillance cameras outside the Marty’s market have captured each of the accidents. They all show semi-trucks speeding as the highway comes to an abrupt end.

“It scares me to death thinking of a family getting crushed. It’s happened so often I don’t have an answer for this. I don’t know what to do,” Phipps said.

After the first accident nearly two years ago, U-DOT engineers designed a runaway truck ramp. The project was sped up to prevent any more accidents and is expected to be completed by the end of September.

“It’s a very unique design. It’s a cable system – series of cables–that wrap around the truck to slow it down and eventually bring it to a stop,” said John Gleason, a spokesperson for U-DOT. “A project like this to be accelerated the way it was, we understood the urgency and wanted to address the problem.”

The ramp is designed to give runaway trucks a place to go. Phipps believes it will take more from truck drivers to prevent a future tragedy.

“The drivers are not trained properly. They are not stopping at the brake check at the top of the hill,” Phipps said. “They don’t know where the road ends.”

U-DOT says it plans to work with truck companies to educate drivers from out-of-state about the steep grade of this and other roads in Utah.

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