Strong wind gusts, over 70 mph in some places, brought down power poles and tossed vehicles Tuesday afternoon in northern and western Utah.
In the valleys along the Wasatch Front, the strongest winds were clocked at 72 mph, on Interstate 15 at Tremonton, the National Weather Service reported. The gusts there toppled two semitrailer trucks, critically injuring one driver, Utah Highway Patrol troopers confirmed.
The first truck, a UPS vehicle hauling a triple trailer with a light load, was driving south about 4:30 p.m. where Interstates 15 and 84 meet. As the truck was rounding a broad curve, a gust tipped it over. The UPS driver was not seriously injured, troopers said. However, an Associated Foods truck carrying an empty 38-foot trailer with a 28-foot pup trailer was traveling about 500 feet behind the UPS truck. The winds tossed that truck into a guardrail, pinning in the driver and critically injuring him, UHP Lt. Lee Perry said. After he was extricated, he was driven to McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden because helicopters could not navigate the dust storm caused by high winds. He was later upgraded to serious condition, said UHP Sgt. Todd Royce,