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UTA rider says deadly accident was 'bound to happen'

Posted at 5:50 PM, Jan 09, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Some riders say this weekend's deadly accident involving a Utah Transit Authority train downtown highlights a danger they've been concerned about for some time.

"It was bound to happen, it's sad, but it’s so dangerous," said Terry Winget.

UTA officials say 61-year-old Salt Lake City resident Blair Provstgaard was riding a Trax train when he departed at the City Center station and somehow fell between two cars. The operator was unaware of the fall and moved the trains forward, dragging Provstgaard.

"I thought, gosh, that’s so horrible, I mean I just feel so bad for him," Winget said, adding that he has also fallen trying to get down from the more elevated train that sits up four steps from the platform. He says it can be harder for older riders like him.

"That's because of those four steps. You take those four steps up. The other you just walk in, like you’re walking into your living room. So it’s just an accident bound to happen.

"I fell down a couple of times. You just fall down flat and pick yourself up."

UTA spokesman Carl Arky said the death is a tragedy,

“There are a host of unknowns with this incident, but for some reason [Provstgaard] fell in between the two cars. It was dark, and there was no way the operators could have known. Nothing UTA has in place would alert the operator that there’s someone in that situation. An unfortunate reality,” wrote Arky in a statement.

Arky said that other train systems across the country see similar issues and that a fix is not feasible.