Multiple deaths on US Hwy 189 near Wallsburg this year
A fatal motorcycle crash over the weekend is the latest in a number of collisions on that portion of the highway this year.
As US Highway 189 passes Deer Creek Reservoir toward Provo Canyon, the road makes a sharp curve around the southeast edge of the reservoir. The highway also intersects with Main Canyon Road at that point, the main road into Wallsburg.
That spot is where 24-year-old Cory Hughes lost his life Saturday. He was going southbound on 189 when his motorcycle collided with a Toyota Prius crossing the highway from Main Canyon Road to get to a Deer Creek day use area on the other side.
That incident closely mirrors one back in June, where a motorcycle going southbound on 189 collided with a Toyota Tacoma coming out from Main Canyon Road. At the time, a Utah Department of Public Safety spokesperson told KPCW the motorcyclist received “substantial” injuries, but they did not appear to be life-threatening.
And in April, a wrong-way collision on 189 resulted in the deaths of both drivers. That happened near milepost 21, close to that intersection with Main Canyon Road.
Utah Highway Patrol spokesperson Sgt. Cameron Roden said high speeds played a factor in both of the fatal crashes. He said there’s a posted speed limit there of 60 miles per hour, and an advisory speed limit of 50 miles per hour for heavier vehicles.
"With that type of a setup, with that sweeping curve and intersecting roads, individuals need to make sure that they're not just obeying that posted speed limit, but the advisory speeds as well," he said.
Utah Department of Transportation Spokesperson Wyatt Wooley said UDOT is committed to making the state’s roads as safe as possible. He said the department will be working with the Utah Highway Patrol to find out what changes can be made in the area.
"Whenever we make a change, it goes through a study," he said. "Sometimes they can be quick. Sometimes it can take a while."
Roden said Saturday’s crash and the wrong-way crash in April are both still under investigation.