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UDOT runaway truck ramp Garden City
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UDOT and Garden City Mayor eyeing fix for Bear Lake Boulevard

UDOT says they will build a runaway truck ramp at the intersection of US-89 and SR 30 in Garden City. FILE PHOTO: A dump truck hauling asphalt lost its brakes coming east down NB SR-89 (MM 499) at the T-intersection of N Bear Lake Blvd. in Garden City. (Photo credit: Matt Rascon, Steven Breinholt)

SALT LAKE CITY — Within the last week, there have been two dangerous crashes on Highway 89 in Garden City, a small town near Bear Lake and about an hour from Logan.

And a year ago, another crash in the same area was fatal.

That’s why Garden City Mayor Mike Leonhardt wants to put a brake check station in the area by next week. And the Utah Department of Transportation is considering a runaway truck ramp or a cable system to stop semi-trucks from blowing through that stop sign.

Three accidents within one year

On Tuesday, the brakes went out on a dump truck hauling asphalt as it traveled north on Highway 89 at the intersection of North Bear Lake Boulevard (also referred to as State Route 30.) With no way to stop the truck drove through the intersection and through the parking lot of Raspberry Square. The truck finally stopped after it hit three garages attached to a condominium complex.

Even though two of the truck’s tires caught fire and the truck driver had to be extricated from the truck, they were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

And a witness thinks the truck had brake trouble.  “It was apparent, at that point he couldn’t stop. And as we ran over there, of course, the brake smell was just totally evident,”  George Vogel told KSL Newsradio.

Last week, on August 15, the Utah Highway Patrol reported that a semi-truck hauling chocolate milk flew through the same intersection of Highway 89 and State Route 30 and slammed into a storage shed. The shed was destroyed, and the driver had to be hospitalized with his injuries.

After the second crash, Garden City Mayor Mike Leonhardt said he couldn’t believe it.  “If I would have said that this would happen five days ago, and then another one? It just doesn’t happen,” he told KSL Newsradio.

The same intersection was the scene of a fatal accident last year.  In October 2018 truck driver Ahmed Abdelgader died after his truck smashed into Pugstones Sporting. That store was destroyed and never rebuilt.