Man killed in auto collision on
US89 near Manti Aug. 20
By Rhett Wilkinson
MANTI—A man died in a collision between a car and truck at U.S. 89 and Jensen Lane on the afternoon of Aug. 20.
The deceased man, Jared Thomas Harper, 22, was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, said Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Preston Hurst.
Harper was transported to the Gunnison Valley Hospital and later flown by helicopter to a trauma center, where he died, according to the UHP.
“This guy, he was in really bad shape,” said Paul Madsen, a witness to the crash.
A gray Nissan Altima driven by Harper was traveling north on U.S. 89 close to mile post 253. Occupying the front passenger seat was Cloward.
Simultaneously, a light gray Ford F-150 was going south in the same place. The F-150 crossed over the center line and into the path of the Nissan, with a collision the consequence, according to the UHP.
“We were just going our normal speed, about 65 miles per hour,” Cloward said. “[He] decided to pull in front of us.”
“It was intense,” Madsen said. “It happened right in front of me.”
Harper had to be extricated from the Nissan, according to the UHP.
Cloward and the F-150 driver were both wearing seat belts, with the driver suffering just minor injuries, according to the UHP. However, Harper was taken away in an ambulance.
Harper and Cloward were on their way home from work, Cloward said.
Cloward paid tribute to Harper.
“He was an astounding person,” Cloward said. “You’ve never met another person like him. There’s no one who can replace him.”
The following day, Cloward was still trying to recuperate. He sustained a rather severe concussion, Cloward said.
“It’s a whole lot to handle right now,” Cloward said.
Cloward said he doesn’t remember anything from the incident.
“I remember waking up and getting a CT scan,” Cloward said. “I found out that my friend had passed and it just put me in shock. It was just really awful and I’m very physically impacted by it. I can barely move.”
“I wish there was something I could do about it, but I can’t,” Cloward said.
Cloward said he will recover.
“It will be a process, but I will eventually,” he said.
The Utah Highway Patrol did not return a request for the name of the F-150 driver.
It took first responders at least 10 minutes from the time of the collision to get Harper into an ambulance.
For 20 years, Garry Bringhurst drove a school bus on the route where the collision occurred. He has been a “thorn” in the side of the Utah Department of Transportation, he said, to bring about changes.
“I know beyond a shadow of a doubt if they had installed a left-hand turn lane, that young man wouldn’t be dead,” Bringhurst said.
Bringhurst has “been after” UDOT for 16 years to tell them there is a problem at the location of the collision, he said.
Bringhurst said that every year a meeting is held with the school district, the sheriff’s department, the county road department and UDOT to discuss the problem intersection.
“I was trying to get that fixed,” Bringhurst.
But every year, the stakeholders would get the “same stupid answers” from UDOT, Bringhurst said. (“Oh, we’re working on it,” Bringhurst reported UDOT saying.)
“Heaven forbid a school bus getting hit there,” Bringhurst said. “That was a real possibility. And that was a normal route for the school buses.”
Bringhurst said that UDOT shaved the face off the hill near the intersection so that drivers could see better. However, “it did absolutely nothing for the southbound traffic,” he said.