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 mentioned she desires to make it clear that the collision that killed her brother was not resulting from him being a younger, reckless motorcyclist. She mentioned he was “extremely security acutely aware” and was carrying 1000’s of {dollars} of security gear on the time and was expert at biking.

However he did not stand an opportunity when a motorist driving the mistaken manner on the I-15 freeway all of the sudden 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 convey my brother again. However we are able to possibly 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 mentioned.

Stephan Burgin was driving with Greg Workman and was proper behind him when he was hit. They had 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 footwear. Burgin mentioned he put his head down for only a second, laughing at one thing Workman mentioned.

“And it was after I regarded 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 entering into that No. 1 lane. And as quickly as I straightened out, I regarded in my mirror and I simply noticed an enormous cloud. After which I noticed his physique flying within the air.”

The driving force hit Workman’s bike and two different vehicles, troopers mentioned, after getting onto I-15 going the mistaken manner.

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. (Photograph: 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 certain that is preventable to another person, so they do not must undergo this,” Katie Workman mentioned.

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

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

Utah Freeway Patrol Cpl. Andrew Battenfield mentioned wrong-way crashes have been rising, however he would not know why.

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

He mentioned particularly on a freeway, a wrong-way crash will be very tragic, as a result of it results in a head-on crash with the drive from the velocity of each automobiles.

“You do not all the time see lengthy distances on I-15. … You will 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 in the course of 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. (Photograph: Mengshin Lin, Deseret Information)

Battenfield mentioned that should you see a automobile going the mistaken manner towards you, it’s best to decelerate and get to the other aspect of the highway. He urged drivers to concentrate on the highway, and to name 911 in the event that they see anybody shifting the mistaken manner on both aspect of the highway, and be as detailed as attainable concerning the location so troopers can reply as shortly as attainable.

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

Battenfield mentioned that they’re nonetheless wanting into whether or not the driving force who was going the mistaken manner on this collision was impaired. The driving 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 mentioned that UHP won’t chase a automobile going the mistaken manner, however there are procedures troopers can use to aim to decelerate such automobiles, forcing them off the highway or getting the automobile to crash to a cease when the roads are empty. He mentioned the maneuver is harmful, however it could 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 mentioned he desires to see legislation enforcement do extra to stop dashing, distracted driving and drunk driving. He mentioned 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 will be very harmful as effectively, particularly when driving round bikes.

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

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

“It is vital to me that you just all know that he was tender and candy, even when he was a rascal. And Greg had much more to provide 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 mentioned.

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. (Photograph: Mengshin Lin, Deseret Information)

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

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

Tasha Clark mentioned that the motorcycling neighborhood is tight knit, they usually 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 mentioned. “He is all the time going to be with us. He is driving up there with everyone.”

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