With the Fourth of July just a little over two weeks away it’s the perfect time to remind Utahn’s to plan for a SAFE holiday.  

Just last year, there were 962 DUI-related arrests in July in Utah which was the highest number the state saw all year, according to the DUI Annual Report. In 2021, there were 68 DUI/Alcohol fatalities which is a steep increase from the state’s previous record number, 48.  

Everyone likes to have a good time, especially on a nationwide holiday. However, the temptation to drink a little too much, or run into someone who shouldn’t be on the road is all too common.  

For whatever reason, the entire holiday weekend can be dangerous and Utah families have felt that more than once. It’s not just holiday-related incidents but recklessness all the way from the first of the month through the fifth.  

In 2022, the Utah Highway Patrol reported five fatalities over the Fourth of July weekend, ABC 4 News said.  

The Incidents: 

  • Washington County—In the early afternoon of July 1, 2022, a head-on collision resulted in the death of Deliberto Pablo-Cruz, 33, along SR-9. Unfortunately, a driver in the opposite lane went over the center line and crashed into Cruz.  
  • Wasatch County—A Day later close to Deer Creek State Park another fatality occurred on July 2. This incident is a bit less clear in the cause. UHP said the victim, Kelly C. Sabey, 56, veered off the road for unclear reasons. His vehicle rolled and Sabey was ejected. 
  • Sevier County—Also on July 2, a motorcyclist crashed into a median on the I-70. He eventually started rolling and was identified as Timothy L. Hood, 52, who later died from him injuries at the local hospital.  
  • Wayne County—Roughly four hours later in Wayne County, another motorcyclist, Paul Denton,54, crashed when he was unable to maneuver a turn. The motorcyclist went off into an embankment and flew off his bike and into nearby boulders. He was also transported to a local hospital with severe injuries but died later on.  
  • Davis County—On July 5 in Salt Lake City, a biker was struck several times by oncoming vehicles after losing control of the motorcycle. Styler Kinder, 31, was merging into traffic and suddenly lost control. Kinder crashed into the median and his bike ended up in the HOV lane. He was struck multiple times, ending up in the HVO lane himself. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

There are TONS of people on Utah roads (and everywhere else) during the holiday weekend. So, make sure to remember your defensive driving, don’t drink and drive—don’t even risk it, and try to have the most fun possible! 


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