Man seriously injured in accident near Jeremy Ranch exit
UDOT employee struck by his vehicle after it was hit by a semi-truck
Thursday morning, an employee with the Utah Department of Transportation was seriously injured while inspecting a bridge near the Jeremy Ranch exit on Interstate 80.
At around 11 a.m., three UDOT vehicles were parked along the westbound shoulder of the Interstate when a semi-truck reportedly drifted off of the road and struck two of the vehicles, pinning an employee between them, according to Sgt. Todd Royce, with the Utah Highway Patrol. Royce said it is unclear how many of the four employees were outside of their vehicles at the time.
Royce said the employee, Morgan McCarthey, landed on the ground in front of one of the UDOT vehicles, while the semi-truck left the road before coming to rest on an embankment.
McCarthey was transported to the University of Utah in an ambulance. Royce said his injuries appear serious, but are not life-threatening. No other injuries were reported.
McCarthey, a maintenance station supervisor, has been employed with UDOT for nearly 12 years, according to John Gleason, a public information officer. Gleason said McCarthey’s father and stepmother retired from UDOT, and a sister who works for the agency, as well.
“Morgan is really a rising star within UDOT and he is an outstanding leader,” Gleason said. “We talk about UDOT being a family business and that is a great illustration of it. Thankfully he will survive his injuries and we are just sending all of our best wishes for a speedy recovery and thinking about Morgan and his family. I heard it is his daughter’s birthday today and, thankfully we aren’t talking about a different outcome.”
Gleason said the other employees who were working with McCarthey are “pretty shaken” over the traumatic event.
“We are talking about a matter of inches and it could have been a very different situation, even though it already is a terrible situation with Morgan suffering serious injuries. We could be talking about a real tragedy with four UDOT workers being killed,” Gleason said. “When you have an accident like this it is a sobering reminder that our workers really are vulnerable. We have them on work sites all across the state and they are just doing their jobs trying to get home safely. It is up to each and every one of us as drivers to make that commitment to focus and be alert on the roads.”
The Utah Highway Patrol is currently investigating the cause of the accident. Royce said inspectors are checking to see if the semi-truck, which was hauling paper products and liquid soap, suffered any mechanical issues.
“We are looking at the driver’s log and medical cards to see if there is anything that was medical, driver error or mechanical that caused the accident,” Royce said.
Royce said there is no indication, at this time, that drugs or alcohol were involved. He said any potential charges will be screened through the Summit County Attorney’s Office.
The accident caused emergency officials to close a portion of westbound Interstate 80, while the Jeremy Ranch on-ramp was also periodically inaccessible. However, no major delays were reported, Royce said.
“As far as this crash goes, drivers just need to make sure as they are approaching emergency vehicles, tow trucks, officers or ambulances to slow down and move over,” Royce said. “Make sure you are aware of stuff going on ahead of you and not just in your immediate area. Anticipate problems that are happening ahead of you so you can adjust for that.”
The pad locks to 30 different storage units and trailers at a facility in the Snyderville Basin were cut sometime between April 13 and 15.