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Big Cottonwood Canyon closed twice due to crash near 'S' curve

Posted at 3:05 PM, Jan 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-24 22:51:47-05

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah — Big Cottonwood Canyon was closed twice Sunday due to a car crash.

Around 1:30 p.m., a pickup truck and a Subaru collided near the "S" curve about four miles up the canyon. Both vehicles slid off the side of the road and went roughly 40 feet down into the ravine below.

Both directions of State Route 190 were closed for a few hours as Unified Fire Authority crews rappelled down a steep ravine to extricate and rescue some of the crash victims. One person was taken to the hospital in serious condition, according to Unified Police. One was in fair condition and three others were in good condition.

Downhill traffic was reopened around 4:30 p.m., and a backup several miles long began clearing by about 5:15.

Then around 5:30, traffic once again was shut down in both directions as tow trucks worked to pull the vehicles out.

A Utah Department of Transportation spokesperson said it was a priority to get the truck out of the river because could have created a potential hazard in a watershed area.

It reopened around 7 p.m. and traffic near the scene began moving, but a line several miles long had backed up again and took about an hour or more before the farthest back vehicles cleared out.

Unified Fire Authority rescue crews respond to a vehicle that slid down a 40-foot embankment after crashing with another vehicle in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Utah Transit Authority (UTA) announced prior to the full canyon closure that it had to place its Solitude/Brighton ski bus service on hold due to multiple accidents. Later, several buses in a row could be seen going up the canyon to shuttle skiers and snowboarders back down.