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Pickup truck hits three construction workers on I-15 in Clearfield; driver suspected of DUI

Posted at 6:32 AM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 14:22:37-04

CLEARFIELD, Utah — Three UDOT construction workers are recovering after they were run down by a suspected DUI driver in Clearfield Monday morning.

It happened just after 3:00 a.m. in the northbound lanes of I-15 near Hill Air Force Base.

“Lucky to be alive.” That’s the assessment from Utah Highway Patrol troopers and UDOT officials.

One of the workers remains hospitalized while the driver who hit them is now in Davis County Jail.

The crew was doing some cement work in what is a clearly marked construction zone along the freeway.

Troopers say the driver was approaching Clearfield when her passenger called 911, saying the accelerator in their pickup truck was stuck and they didn’t know how to stop it.

At one point the driver veered to the left, careening into the group of construction workers.

She also wound up slamming into the back of a small SUV.

“Witnesses stated the vehicle was doing around 90 to 100 miles an hour,” said UHP Sgt. Rick Shrader. “There was a lot of construction workers out here, the roads are narrow, it was dark.”

The three workers were rushed to local hospitals.

“Our workers are pretty banged up” said John Gleason with UDOT. “They’re very fortunate that they’re going to survive.”

After a brief investigation the driver, 32-year-old Kolopa Kulitea, was arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of non-alcohol related driving under the influence.

UHP troopers and UDOT officials say while all three workers are expected to recover physically, the trauma related to this incident could be a little more long lasting.

“And trying to get back out on the job, trying to look over your shoulder to see if any vehicles are going to hit you, it’s a frightening experience and one that our workers are going to have to deal with for a while to come,” Gleason said.

They also say this is yet another reminder for drivers, even in those early morning hours, to really be careful in those construction zones, to slow down and be prepared for changing conditions.