Family, friends of motorcyclist killed in wrong-way crash call for safety measures

Motorcyclists begin their engines Saturday at Hatch Park in North Salt Lake in reminiscence of Greg Workman, who died final week after he was hit and killed by a wrong-way driver on the I-15 freeway. (Mengshin Lin, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 6-7 minutes

NORTH SALT LAKE — Katie Workman stated she desires to make it clear that the collision that killed her brother was not on account of him being a younger, reckless motorcyclist. She stated he was “extremely security acutely aware” and was carrying hundreds of {dollars} of security tools on the time and was expert at biking.

However he did not stand an opportunity when a motorist driving the fallacious method on the I-15 freeway immediately appeared, hitting and killing him on Feb. 20.

Troopers say such wrong-way crashes have gotten extra widespread in Utah. Family and friends of Greg Workman on Saturday referred to as for extra prevention measures throughout a vigil for him at Hatch Park, not removed from the freeway the place he died.

“I am unable to do something, and none of us can, to carry my brother again. However we are able to perhaps do one thing to make a distinction about this sooner or later as a result of there’s a number of fundamental coverage that Utah hasn’t applied,” Katie Workman stated.

Stephan Burgin was driving with Greg Workman and was proper behind him when he was hit. They have been laughing over Bluetooth headsets, with Burgin speaking about how chilly it was and the way Workman was all equipped whereas Burgin was solely carrying a sweatshirt and tennis sneakers. Burgin stated he put his head down for only a second, laughing at one thing Workman stated.

“And it was once I appeared up, I noticed the headlights,” Burgin recalled. “And I simply, my immediate response was to twitch and swerve over and I ended up simply barely moving into that No. 1 lane. And as quickly as I straightened out, I appeared in my mirror and I simply noticed an enormous cloud. After which I noticed his physique flying within the air.”

The motive force hit Workman’s bike and two different vehicles, troopers stated, after getting onto I-15 going the fallacious method.

Katie Workman, the sister of Greg Workman, who died in a wrong-way accident on Feb. 20, speaks at the vigil for Greg at Hatch Park in North Salt Lake on Saturday.
Katie Workman, the sister of Greg Workman, who died in a wrong-way accident on Feb. 20, speaks on the vigil for Greg at Hatch Park in North Salt Lake on Saturday. (Picture: Mengshin Lin, Deseret Information)

“I am by no means going to know if what occurred to Greg was preventable, however we are able to … make sure that that is preventable to another person, so they do not need to undergo this,” Katie Workman stated.

Among the many security measures she wish to see applied are decreasing sure signage, as a result of drunk drivers usually tend to be trying down, and placing flashing lights on wrong-way indicators. She additionally stated that there are alternatives for sensors on off-ramps that can alert legislation enforcement if somebody drives the fallacious method and indicators that mild as much as alert individuals on the street when there’s a wrong-way driver on the street.

She inspired everybody on the vigil to succeed in out to legislators and allow them to know that this is a matter that’s essential to them. She stated that there must be a “Greg Workman invoice.”

Utah Freeway Patrol Cpl. Andrew Battenfield stated wrong-way crashes have been growing, however he does not know why.

In 2022 to date there have been 28 deadly crashes, three of these, together with the one which killed Workman, have been wrong-way deadly crashes, Battenfield stated. Two of the three have been on a freeway and have been dealt with by UHP. In 2021 there have been 297 deadly crashes in Utah, 15 of which had somebody touring the fallacious method, and in 2020 there have been 340 deadly crashes, 17 of which have been fallacious method.

He stated particularly on a freeway, a wrong-way crash might be very tragic, as a result of it results in a head-on crash with the power from the velocity of each autos.

“You do not all the time see lengthy distances on I-15. … You might be actually shocked by what is true on high of you with a wrong-way driver,”

Tasha Clark cries during the vigil to in memory Greg Workman, who died in a wrong-way accident on Feb. 20, at Hatch Park in North Salt Lake on Saturday.
Tasha Clark cries throughout the vigil to in reminiscence Greg Workman, who died in a wrong-way accident on Feb. 20, at Hatch Park in North Salt Lake on Saturday. (Picture: Mengshin Lin, Deseret Information)

Battenfield stated that if you happen to see a automobile going the fallacious method towards you, it is best to decelerate and get to the other aspect of the street. He urged drivers to pay attention to the street, and to name 911 in the event that they see anybody shifting the fallacious method on both aspect of the street, and be as detailed as doable concerning the location so troopers can reply as shortly as doable.

“These valuable seconds could make the distinction between you having the ability to react shortly to a wrong-way automobile,” he stated.

Battenfield stated that they’re nonetheless trying into whether or not the driving force who was going the fallacious method on this collision was impaired. The motive force was taken to the hospital after the crash and has not but been charged with any crimes because the case continues to be being investigated.

He stated that UHP won’t chase a automobile going the fallacious method, however there are procedures troopers can use to try to decelerate such autos, forcing them off the street or getting the automobile to crash to a cease when the roads are empty. He stated the maneuver is harmful, however it might save lives. Such a maneuver was only in the near past utilized in a separate wrong-way driver incident.

Daniel and Tasha Clark, each riders in Workman’s bike group, additionally referred to as for extra prevention measures to cease wrong-way driving. Daniel Clark stated he desires to see legislation enforcement do extra to stop dashing, distracted driving and drunk driving. He stated motorcyclists perceive that driving a bike is extra harmful, and {that a} crash with a automobile goes to be detrimental, which is why they drive cautiously.

Together with wrong-way driving, dashing and distracted driving might be very harmful as effectively, particularly when driving round bikes.

“Drivers have to pay extra consideration to us on bikes,” Tasha Clark stated.

Katie Workman stated that in a dialog along with her brother just a few months in the past, he instructed her that if something occurred to him, he could be OK. She stated that she is aware of he’s OK now.

“It is essential to me that you simply all know that he was smooth and candy, even when he was a rascal. And Greg had much more to offer all of us, and it sucks that we’re not going to have that, however I do know that we’re all going to be OK,” she stated.

Dozens of people gather at a vigil to in memory Greg Workman, who died in a wrong-way accident on Sunday, at Hatch Park in North Salt Lake on Saturday.
Dozens of individuals collect at a vigil to in reminiscence Greg Workman, who died in a wrong-way accident on Sunday, at Hatch Park in North Salt Lake on Saturday. (Picture: Mengshin Lin, Deseret Information)

Dallas Ray Workman talked about how his son was security acutely aware and instructed tales the place he went above and past what others would do to make it possible for they have been protected on the roads with a trailer or whereas driving in snow. He stated his son knew loads about security and about bikes.

“I do imagine Greg is glad, and I do imagine Greg is being taken care of wherever he’s,” he stated.

Tasha Clark stated that the motorcycling group is tight knit, and so they think about others within the group to be household, which makes the lack of Workman onerous on the group.

“Greg will all the time be remembered,” she stated. “He is all the time going to be with us. He is driving up there with everyone.”

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