Three injured after truck rolls into Provo Canyon stream
Janice Peterson - Daily Herald
Firefighters and Highway Patrol respond to an accident on SR92 in Provo Canyon at approximately 12 a.m. Monday, Dec. 28, 2009. PHOTO PROVIDED/Utah Highway Patrol .
Related: Utah Highway Patrol
Three men were injured early Monday morning after their truck overturned in a Provo Canyon stream.
Utah Highway Patrol spokesman Cameron Roden said the GMC pickup was traveling south on State Route 92 between Sundance and U.S. Highway 189 in Provo Canyon. The driver lost control of the truck at about 12:30 a.m., and the vehicle left the roadway and tipped over into a stream at mile marker 27.
Police found open alcohol containers in the truck, and there were signs of impairment and an odor of alcohol on the driver, Roden said.
"They do suspect alcohol was involved," he said.
The right tires of the pickup appear to have drifted off to the side of the road before the truck entered the stream, which is fairly close to the roadway, Roden said.
Roden said the driver and a passenger were able to escape the vehicle quickly, but the front passenger was stuck in the partially submerged, overturned vehicle for 30-60 minutes. The passenger may have had to maneuver to keep his head above water during the time, but there were no issues getting him from the truck, Roden said.
All three men were transported to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in fair to serious condition with some lacerations.
Investigators are still looking into the incident. Roden said he is unaware of conditions in the area of the crash, but there are some icy patches throughout the canyon. The driver told police another car cut him off, but Roden said the claim has not been substantiated.
"We have no evidence of that at this point," he said.
The driver, a 35-year-old male from Mona, was cited with driving under the influence, open container and failure to maintain control on a mountain road.
Jeff Nigbur, spokesman for the Utah Department of Public Safety, said DUI enforcement will be up around the state through the rest of the holiday season. Troopers have been on patrols since Christmas, on the lookout for impaired drivers. Nigbur said there are often more impaired drivers between Christmas and New Year's because people have a lot of time off and tend to stay up drinking during the night.
"We're not discouraging people from having fun, we just don't want them getting behind the wheel," he said.
UHP will continue to have extra troopers out until New Year's, but there are no scheduled checkpoints in Utah County for the department.
Sgt. Spencer Cannon, spokesman for the Utah County Sheriff's Office, said deputies will be out around Utah County from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. New Year's Eve. The office will have 12 deputies on DUI enforcement, thanks to state money under the "Over the Limit, Under Arrest" campaign. Cannon said the deputies generally focus on high-traffic areas and frequent party areas.
Cannon said revenue from fines and fees more than pay for the program, but officers on the streets aren't too concerned with the money it brings in. When he is on DUI enforcement, Cannon said, he does not generally give out minor tickets, but focuses on stopping as many cars as possible and catching impaired drivers.
"In terms of protection, you're getting an impaired driver off the street, so that's the real value," he said.
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