Missing stop sign blamed for Hyrum crash; victim requires plastic surgery

Posted at 9:40 PM, Jul 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-11 00:11:30-04

HYRUM, Utah — A missing stop sign caused two cars to collide in Hyrum, sending one to the Emergency room.

"She spent four or five hours in the ER and a plastic surgeon had to stitch her face back together," said Angela Granthem, the mother of one of the drivers. "Someone could have been killed."

Granthem's two sons and a friend were in the car as it traveled north on 500 East towards Main Street.

"I saw the sign that said Main Street, and I was thinking, 'Wait a minute, there should have been a stop sign there,'" said Tyler, Granthem's son. "Then, at that moment, I saw the car that was coming and tried to slam on my brakes but it was too late."

Tyler's car colliding with an SUV heading West on Main.  The damage to the cars is in the thousands, with the medical bills remaining untallied at the moment.

"I'm definitely concerned that Hyrum City doesn't want to take responsibility for this," a concerned Granthem said.

In a statement released to FOX13, a spokesman with Hyrum City wrote:

“On the evening of June 21st we received a call that a stop sign was missing, and as we would always do with this type of report, we responded immediately and had city employees on site to replace the missing sign.”

However, nearby neighbors have questions about the timeline.

"It was leaning for a day or two," said Lynn Nielson who lives nearby. "I think somebody hit it."

Nielson had wondered if the city removed it to fix the damage. Another neighbor thinks the sign was missing for some time.

"Like three days, I think," added Channa Morrison, who lives up the street."

The city said they are waiting for the investigation to wrap up to determine what happens next. However, they said they aren't ruling out the possibility that it was stolen, which Salt Lake Defense Attorney Greg Skordas said would improve the city's potential to place blame elsewhere.

​"Our car insurance companies are telling us the same thing," Granthem said of both driver's insurance companies. "That it's neither one of our faults, that it's the city's."

Skordas said it could boil down to one simple point.

"If there was a problem at the intersection, and if the city was made aware of that," Skordas said.

Utah Highway Patrol said they plan to finish their investigation Tuesday.