Dump truck loses brakes in Park City, safely reaching runaway ramp
A dump truck’s brakes failed on Marsac Avenue between upper Deer Valley and Old Town on Thursday evening, forcing the driver onto the runaway-truck ramp, another in a series of problems on the steep stretch of road that dates back decades.
The Park City Police Department said the driver told officers the brakes failed as the truck descended Marsac Avenue at approximately 6 p.m. The Police Department said an inspection conducted afterward determined four of the truck’s 10 brakes were deemed to be ineffective.
The Police Department ordered the truck out of service based on the findings of the inspection. Phil Kirk, a police captain, said the driver, who is 36 and from Layton, received a citation for operating a vehicle without adequate brakes. Kirk said the truck was traveling at a high rate of speed at the time it reached the runaway-truck ramp.
The driver brought the truck to a complete stop at a brake-check area toward the top of the steepest section of Marsac Avenue as he started the descent, the police said, an indication the brakes were functioning at that moment.
Two heavy wreckers were summoned afterward to remove the dump truck from the runaway-truck ramp. A long cable was attached to the dump truck and one of the wreckers. The other wrecker, attached to the one with the cable, slowly moved forward with the other one as they pulled the dump truck, backwards, up the runaway-truck ramp in a process that appeared delicate even as it involved large, noisy vehicles.
Nobody was injured in what was the most recent runaway-truck case on Marsac Avenue. The Marsac Avenue route between upper Deer Valley and Old Town is an especially steep stretch of road and has challenged truck drivers for years. There has been extensive development in upper Deer Valley — in places like Silver Lake Village and Empire Pass — that has necessitated significant construction traffic like dump trucks.
There were a number of cases involving truck brakes failing, sending the vehicles careening down Marsac Avenue, prior to the construction of the runaway-truck ramp. The safety measure has been an important outlet, but the problems have continued nonetheless. One of the recent accidents, in September of 2018, left a scene of wreckage close to the Old Town roundabout after a runaway truck hit a pickup truck.
The Police Department conducts regular truck inspections, including organizing stings, as part of a program designed to ensure the vehicles operating inside Park City are safe. One police officer in the agency is certified to conduct truck inspections and is assigned those duties regularly.
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The Park City Police Department last week received reports of drivers struggling in a late-season snowstorm. The complaints were logged in various locations inside the city. The accidents did not appear to be serious.