As Utah nears 200th fatal crash of 2023, UHP urges extra caution ahead of Halloween

Oct 23, 2023, 6:29 AM | Updated: 7:07 am

the wreckage of a car crash...

(Utah Highway Patrol)

(Utah Highway Patrol)

TOOELE — The Utah Highway Patrol is making plans for what’s expected to be a particularly dangerous weekend on the roads as the state nears its 200th fatal crash of the year ahead of Halloween.

Many of those crashes could have been avoided, UHP indicated, if drivers didn’t get behind the wheel while impaired.

One example over the weekend ended one man’s life and left another man in jail.

UHP Sgt. Brian Peterson said troopers responded to the Knolls area on Interstate 80 in Tooele County Saturday after a car hit a Sprinter van and trailer that were parked on the side of the highway.

According to court documents, the driver pulled the Sprinter van and trailer over and got out to check the tires. His father was riding in the passenger seat.

Shelby Secrist, 43, is accused of hitting the trailer and then the son, killing him. Troopers believe Secrist was impaired.

“They’re also investigating exactly what was going on with him, but he was arrested for DUI,” Peterson explained. “And that’s a big issue that we’re seeing on Utah roadways. And we have to stop that. It’s not acceptable.”

Court documents state Secrist blew negative for alcohol on the breathalyzer, but troopers discovered drugs and drug paraphernalia in his car, as well as an open container. Troopers reported that his speech and demeanor were sluggish, and his eyes bloodshot and glassy-looking with tightly constricted pupils.

It’s not always alcohol

Peterson explained that’s not always alcohol that becomes deadly.

“We’re seeing drug DUIs, marijuana, cocaine, even prescription drugs,” he said. “Anything that’s impairing you, including alcohol, you should not be driving if that is in your system.”

Saturday’s crash, paired with one Sunday morning up near Kimball Junction inched the state closer to the threshold of the 200th fatal crash in Utah in 2023.

The number is now at 199, according to statistics Peterson had from a week ago, paired with additional fatal crashes reported over the past week.

This coming weekend could bring more trouble, being the weekend before Halloween.

“As a department, the Highway Patrol, we’re going to have extra shifts. We’re going to have extra troopers out there,” Peterson said of UHP’s plans. “We’re going to be looking for those impaired drivers and we will take action.”

UHP is making plans now for DUI blitzes, and they urge drivers to start planning now, too.

Peterson does not want someone else making the same mistake Troopers responded to in Tooele County, which led to a father losing his son and a driver facing serious consequences.

“Make the decision beforehand. If you’re drinking, just do not drive, make other plans,” Peterson said. “There’s plenty of Ubers out there. There’s public transportation. Call a friend, whatever you can do.”


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Crime, Police + Courts

Medically Vulnerable People program facility in Sandy, a resident of the homeless facility was arre...

Sam Herrera

Resident at Sandy homeless facility arrested for murder of roommate

Police say a 62-year-old resident at the Sandy homeless facility was found dead in her room on Sunday, the victim of an apparent murder.

6 hours ago

traffic on freeway, 100 deadliest days in utah start today...

Mark Jackson

Memorial Day marks beginning of 100 deadliest days on Utah roads

The Utah Highway Patrol said that 85 people died during the 100 deadliest days on Utah roads during the summer of 2023.

9 hours ago

Multiple people have been taken into custody following an incident involving police and a SWAT team...

Devin Oldroyd

Police reopen area near 3600 South in South Salt Lake after SWAT situation

Police reopened the area around 3600 South and 300 East after keeping it closed and telling residents to stay indoors for several hours Monday morning.

13 hours ago

A man was taken into custody Sunday after he allegedly assaulted random people during Sunday servic...

Mark Jones,

Man taken into custody for alleged assaults at Cathedral of the Madeleine

A man was taken into custody Sunday after he allegedly assaulted random people during Sunday service at the Cathedral of the Madeleine.

14 hours ago

A Layton man charged this month with brutally killing his father now faces an additional criminal c...

Collin Leonard, KSL.COM

Layton man charged with killing his father now charged with threatening puppy owner

A Layton man charged this month with killing his father now faces an additional criminal charge after he allegedly threatened another man.

16 hours ago

A man drowned while swimming with his two children in Taylorsville Sunday afternoon. Police are inv...

Devin Oldroyd

Taylorsville man drowns in apartment complex pool

A man drowned while swimming with his two children in Taylorsville Sunday afternoon. Police are investigating.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

As Utah nears 200th fatal crash of 2023, UHP urges extra caution ahead of Halloween