UTAH COUNTY, Utah, April 1, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Investigators are working to identify a vehicle that was seen heading the wrong way on Interstate 15 early Friday morning.
Utah County Dispatch received information at 1:24 a.m. that a vehicle was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes of I-15 from milepost 261, in the Springville area, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Cameron Roden told Gephardt Daily.
The vehicle was described as a sedan, possibly a Mustang.
“Troopers began heading to the area and dispatch notified local agencies, who also sent officers,” Roden said. “Near milepost 268, at the south end of Orem, the trooper located the wrong-way vehicle.”
Roden said there weren’t sufficient units or enough time to set up for a wrong-way intercept, so the trooper attempted to hit the vehicle as it passed him.
“The trooper missed the vehicle and hit the center concrete barrier. The trooper’s vehicle was still drivable, so he continued to the next exit and turned to head north to try and locate the suspect vehicle,” Roden said. He added that the trooper wasn’t injured.
The trooper continued all the way north to Exit 275 (Pleasant Grove), but was unable to find the suspect car.
Roden said there were no other calls reporting the wrong-way vehicle, and it’s believed the suspect got off the freeway at one of the Orem exits.
Orem Police Department will be handling the crash report for the UHP vehicle.
Utah has seen a disturbing uptick in wrong-way crashes, including several fatalities, with UHP reporting an 82% increase so far this year over 2021. Officials say many of these wrong-way incidents are attributed to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Drivers are urged to use their seat belts, to make sure their passengers also are safely restrained, and to avoid being distracted while behind the wheel.