UHP says 4th of July weekend can be deadly; motorists urged to slow down, stay sober, buckle up

Posted at 9:32 PM, Jul 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-03 23:32:34-04

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Highway Patrol troopers are urging motorists to buckle up, slow down and stay sober if they plan to drive this Independence Day weekend.

The holiday has already seen several fatal crashes, among them a 51-year-old man who was hit and killed Thursday night as he was pulled over on the Highway 201 near 5600 West to change a flat tire.

Police have now identified that man as Graham Ambrose of Sandy. While Ambrose was searching for tools in his trunk, a car driven by 21-year-old Anthony Lopez of Clearfield ran into the back of Ambrose’s Honda. Ambrose was killed at the scene.

Another fatality occurred Friday when a motorcycle collided head-on with a dump truck in Tooele County.

The holiday weekend has proven deadly in the past.

"Last year for July 4th it was the deadliest holiday that we had on the roadways,” said Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Lawrence Hopper. “We had 10 people die in the holiday weekend for the 4th of July.”

Starting at 11 p.m. Friday, troopers will be doing a DUI checkpoint in Davis County, and multiple agencies are teaming up for a DUI blitz in Salt Lake County.

Although most construction projects are on hold for the holiday weekend, troopers are hoping drivers slow down in construction zones. There are some lane restrictions still in effect, particularly at the point of the mountain on I-15.