Two killed on Summit freeways
Traffic crashes claimed the lives of two people on Interstate 80 in Summit County in the past week.
Containers of water and soda were strewn along the freeway Sunday morning after a trucker from Colorado rolled his semi around 5:50 a.m., authorities say.
Pronounced dead at the scene of the crash was Darrel Goad, 31, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Mike Loveland said.
"It was a mess," Loveland said. "He had fallen asleep and drifted off the inside part of the road."
Alcohol containers found at the scene indicate the Swift Transportation driver may have been drinking at the time of the crash, he said, adding that Goad was transporting goods along westbound I-80 from a Kmart distribution center in Colorado to a store in Layton.
"He traveled off into the median in Echo Canyon," Loveland said, adding that the crash occurred about eight miles from the Wyoming border. "The semi rolled onto its top and stayed in the median and skidded on its top for quite some distance."
Goad was not wearing a seat belt when the cab of the truck was crushed, he said, adding that the man was traveling freeway speeds.
"The cab and the trailer basically came apart," Loveland said. "We didn’t have anybody witness him go off."
Troopers closed the inside lane of eastbound I-80 for about eight hours to clean up the wreckage, he added.
"We’re lucky he didn’t hit somebody else or come into oncoming traffic," Loveland said. "[Goad] was definitely at fault."
Meanwhile, 48-year-old John Crites was killed Aug. 31 when his Ford pickup truck struck a freeway overpass near Coalville around 5:30 a.m., authorities say.
"Prior to the Coalville off ramp he drifted off to the inside and traveled forever through the median," Loveland said. "From the ramp it launched the truck into the Coalville structure."
The truck caused "significant damage" to the overpass when Crites, who was from Salt Lake City, struck it traveling freeway speed, he said.
Because Crites drove from eastbound I-80 into the median and oncoming lanes for roughly half a mile, investigators believe he died before he struck the structure, Loveland said.
"We really don’t think he could have stayed asleep for as far as he was driving off the road," he said. "[Crites] was susceptible to some type of black-out seizures."
Traffic was light at the time of both accidents, Loveland said, adding, "Traffic wasn’t a factor at all."
But troopers saw more cars last weekend in Summit County than in the past, he said.
Though a rollover crash on eastbound I-80 Friday slowed rush-hour traffic, five people escaped the truck without injuries, Loveland said.
"We get a few rollovers each year on this section," Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputy Eric Redd said.
A Chevrolet Suburban pulling a trailer flipped over after fishtailing near Parleys Summit, investigators say.
"Once you get a trailer going back and forth they tend to tip the vehicle they are attached to," Loveland said.
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