Letter to the Editor: It is the road
I watched in horror a couple of weeks ago as the news reported another fatal accident on Highway 6 between Price and Spanish Fork. A husband, wife, and their young son were burned in a horrible accident. Three people, in another vehicle, were injured.
The news reporter interviewed a highway patrolman who said, "I don't consider this a dangerous road, it is usually driver error that causes the accidents." Well, Mr. Highway Patrolman, I would like to know what you do consider a dangerous road.
To begin with, that road is a two way road, one lane going each direction, which increases the chances of having a head on collision. The lanes are narrow and windy with many very sharp curves. There are places where you couldn't get off the road even if you had time to react to an impending accident. In addition, passing lanes are few and far between.
Factor in the number of slow moving vehicles, large trucks, and oversize loads that cross that highway on a daily basis. Black ice, deer and elk in the road, traffic pulling on and off the road, and unexpected bad weather also challenge the driver's skills. And consider the impact a sleepy, distracted or otherwise impaired driver has on the chances of making it through that canyon unharmed.
Yes, you can point to driver error for most of the accidents in that canyon. Isn't that true of 99% of all accidents, wherever they occur? The circumstances you encounter when traveling Highway 6, make it a dangerous road. They intensify the effects of driver mistakes, leaving little or no margin for error.
I am appalled at the insensitivity and lack of empathy of the Highway Patrolman. He should have used this opportunity to warn people to slow down and make sure they are alert when traveling through the canyon. Why didn't he remind people of the dangers of the highway while the vision of the burning vehicle and the sorrow in our hearts for the family were fresh?