Deer Valley motorcycle crashes blamed on spilled diesel fuel |

Deer Valley motorcycle crashes blamed on spilled diesel fuel

by Jay Hamburger

Three motorcyclists crashed in the upper reaches of Deer Valley on Saturday afternoon after driving over spilled diesel fuel, the Park City Police Department said.

Phil Kirk, a police captain, said spilled fuel was discovered in two locations after the accidents. Fuel was found on the road at the intersection of S.R. 224 and Guardsman Connection. Fuel was also found on S.R. 224 a little bit south of the Empire Canyon Lodge. It was not clear how much diesel fuel was found.

Kirk said one of the motorcyclists slid and crashed at 1:15 p.m. when she drove over one of the spills. She was not injured and the motorcycle was not damaged. The accident, at a slow speed, ripped her pants, Kirk said. He said a Park City police officer on patrol saw the two locations of the spilled fuel and came across the motorcyclist after the crash.

Later that day, at a little bit before 5 p.m., two other motorcycle crashes were reported on S.R. 224 in the vicinity of the earlier one. Kirk said the driver in one of the crashes suffered unspecified injuries to the upper body. In the other crash reported just before 5 p.m., the driver suffered unspecified injuries.

The Park City Streets Department, the Park City Fire District and the Utah Department of Transportation responded to clean up the oil. The state Department of Transportation was summoned a second time to address the spilled oil after the later accidents, Kirk said.

Kirk said there is a possibility the driver of the vehicle that lost the fuel was unaware of the spill. The case remains under investigation.

“As a motorcycle rider myself, I know poor surface, road surface, can really make for dangerous conditions,” Kirk said.

S.R. 224 in the upper reaches of Deer Valley is heavily used by private vehicles and construction traffic headed to residences and worksites in Empire Pass. It is also used by people headed to Guardsman Pass and points in Wasatch County and Salt Lake County.

Anybody with information about the spilled diesel fuel may contact the Police Department at 615-5500.