Headlines Wednesday, May 4, 2016
When the wind blows
Photo courtesy of the Utah Highway Patrol.
One of three semi trucks on I-15 that blew over north of Brigham City due to gale force winds on Sunday afternoon. See page 9 for more photos of the results of a strong windstorm that blew through northern Utah over the weekend.
By Nelson Phillips
High winds on Sunday created a busy day for Utah Highway Patrol troopers, as three semi trucks and a pickup truck hauling a trailer were caught in gusts and overturned.
The first semi overturned at approximately 10 a.m. on northbound I-15 at mile marker 369, about three miles north of the Brigham City Airport. The truck was pulling an empty 53 foot trailer when it caught a gust of wind and blew over, blocking the inside lane and part of the outside lane.
While troopers were directing traffic to the outside lane and crews were trying to right the first truck, a second truck blew over at approximately 11 a.m. near mile marker 366. The second truck was also hauling an empty 53 foot trailer.
Shortly thereafter, at 11:15 a.m. a third semi hauling an empty 53 foot trailer blew over near the first truck at mile marker 369.
None of the drivers were injured, and there were no secondary crashes. The Highway Patrol closed the freeway at that point and diverted traffic onto SR-13 through Corinne, and back onto I-15 past the crash sites. An order was also issued for all high-profile vehicles to stay off I-15 in Box Elder County until the winds died down.
At 2 p.m., a 2007 GMC pickup hauling an empty enclosed trailer was southbound near mile marker 369 when a gust caught the trailer and turned it over on its side, causing the truck to roll over onto its roof and come to rest in the median.
“Three males suffered non-life threatening injuries and were transported to Bear River Valley Hospital,” said UHP Lt. Lee Perry. The driver, Colton Lenhart, 22, had possible back and neck injuries; the front seat passenger Kristopher Varney, 22, claimed no injuries; and the back seat passenger, Dayne Becktold, 22, had possible back and neck injuries. All three men were wearing seatbelts.
Water outlook better than 2015 thanks to wet March
By Nelson Phillips
A wetter-than-expected March has greatly improved the water outlook for Box Elder County this season, according to an April report put out by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
The April 1 report, called the Utah Water Supply Outlook Report, is what commercial and municipal water managers use to allocate irrigation flows to various canal companies and growers throughout the state.
According to the report, snowpack in the Bear River Basin is “near normal” at 104 percent of normal, compared to 57 percent last year. Precipitation in March was much above average at 150 percent, which brings the seasonal accumulation (from Oct.-March) to 100 percent of average. The Bear River Basin is where the majority of Box Elder County gets its irrigation water, with the exception of areas served by Pineview Reservoir (including South Willard, Willard, and Perry), which is part of the Weber-Ogden River Basins.
The report showed that snowpack in the Weber and Ogden River Basins is also “near normal” at 93 percent of normal, compared to just 37 percent last year. Precipitation in March was near average at 106 percent, which brings the seasonal accumulation (from Oct.-March) to 90 percent of average.
Unused prescriptions pose significant problems, dangers
On Saturday, April 30, police departments and government agencies across the U.S. participated in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s 10th annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, setting up collection sites for unwanted, unused and expired medications, and offering information about the dangers of unused prescription drugs in our communities.
In Brigham City, the event was held at Smith’s Food & Drug, sponsored and manned by the Brigham City Police Department. If the number of medications turned in to police are any indication, the event was successful, as thousands of pills from local medicine cabinets—pills that may otherwise have wound up being improperly used—will now be properly disposed of.
“Since we’ve had the collection box set up over at the police department, we’ve collected over 3,000 pounds,” said Jean Reed, Administrative Assistant at BCPD. The Smith’s event added about 50 pounds to that total, which has been built up over the previous five years. Brigham City’s permanent unused drug drop-off location can be found at the police department, 20 North Main Street.
“Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to accidental poisonings, overdoses and abuses,” said BCPD Chief Mike Nelsen, who was on-hand at the Smith’s event. Statistics offered by the local and state government agencies would seem to back that assessment.
“Every month in Utah, 24 individuals die from prescription drug overdoses,” wrote the Utah Department of Health on their website. “Utah ranked 4th in the U.S. for drug poisoning deaths from 2012-2014, which have outpaced deaths due to firearms, falls, and motor vehicle crashes.”
BC police to ‘Take Back’ medications
The Brigham City Police Department will be observing the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 30, at the Smith’s Food and Drug parking lot from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Officers will be on hand to receive and dispose of unused or expired prescriptions.
“Spring time is the perfect time to clean out medicine cabinets. Spring cleaning involves getting rid of unwanted items cluttering up our homes and yards. The Brigham City Police would like to encourage you to check your medicine cabinet while you are cleaning. Unused medication clutter can put you and your family, friends, neighbors and communities at risk for theft, illegal or unsafe prescription use and accidental poisonings. According to the Centers for Disease Control, deaths from improperly used medications have reached epidemic levels in the past decade,” said the department in a press release.
The release also listed some helpful medication tips to keep people safe, including never taking someone else’s prescription (it’s unsafe and illegal), never sharing a prescription (also illegal), never taking a higher dosage than prescribed, always telling doctors about all medications being taken, avoiding alcoholic beverages while on pain medications, and properly disposing of unused medications to prevent unsafe or improper use.
“Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse,” said Chief Michael Nelsen with the Brigham City Police Department.
“Pharmaceutical drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a prescription or a doctor’s supervision.”
If you miss Saturday’s event at Smiths, there is a permanent drop box located at the Brigham City Police Department, 20 North Main Street.
Car fire on I-15
An Idaho man and his passenger escaped injury when their car burst into flames on southbound I-15 last Thursday.
According to UHP Lieutenant Lee Perry, the driver of a 2002 Dodge Neon, identified as 37-year-old Murri Lund of Rexburg, was heading south on I-15 with a male passenger when he noticed smoke coming out of his engine at about 1:30 p.m. near mile marker 367, just south of the Honeyville exit.
“He could smell it, he heard something, got out of the car and could see the smoke and the fire coming out under the hood,” said Perry. Both men got out of the car safely, and Lund called 9-1-1. The car was fully engulfed in flame by the time emergency responders arrived.
Firefighters from the Brigham City Fire Department put out the fire, and what remained of the car was towed away by approximately 2:35 p.m.
Investigators at the scene blamed the fire on engine failure.