Strong winds topple semitrucks on Utah highway
TOOELE COUNTY, Utah (KSTU) – High winds blew over several semitrucks on Interstate 80 in the Salt Lake City area Monday morning.
Truck drivers stressed the importance of safety Monday night after four semitrucks got the worst of the extreme wind gusts.
“You’d rather be safe than sorry,” said truck driver Charles Sanders.
The semis had their trailers toppled over in an area that saw wind gusts near 70 miles per hour.
Those trailers also blocked lanes on the freeway and prompted the Utah Department of Transportation to restrict travel for high-profile vehicles.
The drivers sustained minor injuries, according to Utah Highway Patrol.
“I never dealt with this stuff. This is my first time coming out west,” said Sanders, who has been driving for more than 15 years.
“So, I normally do the northeast corner or, like, Florida, down south or something like that. I took this load on purpose to see how it is, you know, for the winter, but I don’t know if I’m going to do this one again.”
On what may be his last West Coast trip, Sanders was transporting insulation to Sacramento, California.
Jeff Ward, a driver who was headed for Reno, Nevada, with a cargo load of macaroni and cheese, said sometimes it’s not in the cards to get to your destination on time during inclement weather.
“Would be nice to, but they don’t want you to put your life in danger,” Ward said. “Like it’s always been said, this stuff’s not worth your life.”
For these drivers, pulling over during bad driving conditions is important to stay safe and keep all the wheels on the ground.
“You don’t want your load to tip over,” Sanders said. “You’d rather get the money than have to pay somebody out of your own pocket.”
The Utah Department of Transportation has lifted its travel restrictions, but the agency is still warning high-profile vehicles with light tow loads to drive with caution, or to wait out the windy conditions.
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