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Utah Highway Patrol responds to over 250 crashes

The Utah Highway Patrol has been busy responding to crashes and slide-offs all day long. (PHOTO: KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY —  The Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) reports that the winter storm that is pounding the Salt Lake Valley has created hundreds of crashes and countless slide-offs.

By 1 p.m. on Monday, the UHP reported they had responded to 211 crashes. That number is expected to climb throughout the day.

The National Weather Service placed a majority of the state under a winter storm warning overnight. That warning extends through 10 p.m. Monday night.

Manic Monday morning

According to the UHP, a majority of morning crashes took place in Salt Lake County where highways were packed with snow and visibility was limited.

“I wouldn’t dare drive above around 25 miles-per-hour on our interstates today,” said Sgt. Nick Street.

He said a lot of these types of accidents are preventable because the driver is in control of how many risks they take.

“The key to winter driving is to increase that following distance and to slow down,” he said.

One of the main problems they encounter is motorists turning a blind eye to plows and emergency vehicles.

“Be looking for those emergency lights,” said Sgt. Street, “thinking ahead as you’re driving down the roadway.”

Rush hour problems

Not surprisingly, the number of accidents started to pick-up as the morning rush hour got underway.

At around 9:45 a.m., the UHP reported they had responded to 125 crashes.

Only an hour later, they reported about 40 more accidents.

The UHP and Salt Lake City Police spent most of the morning helping to push stranded motorists out of snowbanks.

Even with salt trucks and plows on the thoroughfares and in neighborhoods, the roads remain icy and snow-packed. Officers are reminding all drivers to take it slow and be extra careful throughout the afternoon and evening.