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Bad week, bad year so far for road fatalities in Utah

May 4, 2022, 8:18 AM

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Officers at the scene of a fatal hit-and-run on May 3, 2022. Photo credit: Salt Lake City Police Department.

SALT LAKE CITY — With five pedestrian deaths — three of them small children — this has been a difficult week in Utah. The Utah Highway Safety Office said the total number of road fatalities in 2022 is well ahead of last year’s numbers over the same period.

Standing near the place where two three-year-old boys were killed as they played behind a corral fence, Sergeant Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff said it comes down to bad choices.

“These tragedies have happened by people who are making bad choices to start with, such as the one here in Eagle Mountain. I mean, how do you get somebody to make a choice who’s addicted to drugs and is making the bad choice before they ever got behind the wheel of a car,” Cannon told KSL-TV.

The Utah Department of Transportation also sent out a message about safety and the prevention of road fatalities.

“You’re talking about young people that are losing their lives because of the actions of a driver and the decisions someone’s made behind the wheel who are not going home to their families,” said UDOT spokesperson John Gleason in the message.

The Highway Safety Office said there have been 28 pedestrian or bicycle fatalities in Utah since the first of the year and 105 total deaths on Utah roads. That compares to 86 over the same period in 2021.

Related: Semi catches on fire at Maverik store in Santaquin

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Bad week, bad year so far for road fatalities in Utah