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County Watch

Roads were wet and slippery Thursday morning when Utah Highway Patrol troopers were called to almost 20 traffic crashes near Echo.

A trailer attached to a semi-truck turned over Thursday on eastbound Interstate 80 near Castle Rock at roughly 5:15 a.m. The driver of the truck was not injured in the crash, the authorities said.

"The driver was going too fast for the slick conditions," Utah Highway Patrol trooper Cameron Roden said, adding that the Federal Express truck was hauling two trailers. "The rear trailer rolled The cab of the truck and the first trailer stayed up."

About an hour later a passenger car turned over on eastbound Interstate 80 about a quarter-mile from the truck crash, he said.

"They had a lot of slide offs and crashes, but no injuries luckily out of all of them," Roden said.

Forest roads closed east of Kamas

Gates have been closed on some roads in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest as a safety precaution, U.S. Forest Service officials said in a prepared statement.

Closures of the mostly dirt roads signal the transition to a winter travel plan in the forest, according to Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest Supervisor Brian Ferebee.

"We close the gates to decrease the damage inherently caused by motorized-wheeled vehicles traveling in wet and muddy conditions," Ferebee said. "In turn, it means we’ll spend less time and money repairing the roads next spring."

The closures also act as a safety measure by preventing motorists from getting stuck in the mud on isolated back roads, he said.

Snow machines, such as snowmobiles, snow cats and trucks outfitted with tracks, can travel on some of these roads once enough snow accumulates to provide cover and protection for ground vegetation, as prescribed by Forest Service winter travel plans.

Backcountry skiers, hikers and other non-motorized users will be allowed to travel on all the closed roads throughout the winter season.

The road closures and winter travel plans are part of the effort to balance multiple types of recreation with the preservation of forest watersheds and grasslands.

"We’re requesting that all motorists respect these road closures," Ferebee said.

All-terrain vehicles, motorcycles and trucks, traveling on any portion of a closed road, regardless of the point of access, are violating a forest closure order and subject to citations and fines, he said. Access at the side of the closed gates is limited to snow machines and only after a protective snow base has been established.

More information about road closures in the Kamas Ranger District can be obtained by contacting (435) 783-4338.


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