West Jordan family, residents want change to road after death of father, son

Posted at 9:48 PM, Dec 15, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-15 23:48:17-05

WEST JORDAN, Utah -- An accident Saturday night left a father and son dead in West Jordan. They were traveling in a motorized wheelchair on a dark stretch of road when a car hit them from behind.

Now the victims’ family and nearby residents are urging the city to make modifications to the road.

"I wouldn't want to wish this on anyone at all to have to go through this," said Ashalee Johnson of West Jordan.

Just days ago, at this spot, Ashalee and Andrew Johnson's dad, 44-year-old Todd Johnson, and their 11-year-old brother were hit and killed.

“I don't want to see anything like this to happen to anyone else it's already hard enough for me and I don't want to see anyone else go through that,” said Andrew Johnson of West Jordan.

The Johnson's say at this patch of road near 6300 West and 7800 South the highway's shoulder quickly ends, leaving just inches of pavement from the white line. Then a few hundred feet away, the shoulder and a bike lane begin.

“It's definitely not developed well. It looked like they were half done with it and just never finished,” Andrew Johnson said.

If the road was improved the Johnson’s believe their father and brother, who were traveling on the road on a motorized wheelchair, would have returned home safe.

“I don't think it's safe enough for pedestrians at all. There's a bike lane right here but just this stretch of road there's no sidewalk no bike lane no shoulder at all, which is crazy,” Ashalee Johnson said.

Nearby residents here in West Jordan agree.

The gap in the road is a problem that needs to be addressed, and a simple change could save lives.

“I hope the city can do something about that because I feel like it's unsafe and this was a tragic accident and it's one that could happen again and I don't want to see or hear of that happening again,” said Kaylyn Branz, resident of West Jordan.

But the land is on private property and city officials say there's no requirement for a change.

But because the area is growing and increasing in traffic the city agrees, modifications might have to be made.

"Sometimes things change in our environment that we didn't know could be a danger so we'll definitely be looking at it to see what we can do to make it safer," said Bryce Harderlie, Interim City Manager of West Jordan.