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UHP releases crash totals over Memorial Day weekend

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Posted at 5:55 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 19:55:31-04

SALT LAKE CITY - Utah Highway Patrol says the next three months are the most deadly for highway drivers.

"Our crashes increase in the winter," said Sgt. Todd Royce with Utah Highway Patrol. "But the severity decreases, and during the summer months, the numbers decrease but the severity goes up fairly high."

Royce said that's for a number of reasons, including the fact that school is out for the summer and more people are traveling on the roads.

According to Utah Highway Patrol, the deadliest three months starts right around Memorial Day weekend, and extends to around Labor Day. In fact, in just the first weekend, UHP says it's made over 5,000 traffic stops. More than half were for speeding, and another 1,200 for seat belt violations.

Another 70 cases of driving under the influence were cited as well.

"This last weekend was on the higher end for DUI arrests," Royce said. "That's good because the troopers are out getting them, but also worrisome that we are finding that many people."

Unfortunately, UHP wasn't able to stop a man in Cottonwood Heights from climbing behind the wheel Monday night. He admitted to police that he had had a number of drinks before driving his SUV into the back of a car.

One of the passengers, a grandmother visiting from Texas died from the impact.

"We're just hoping that one or more DUI arrests we've made is saving someone's life, and possibly changing the future," Royce said.