Interstate 15 in Lehi was closed in both directions for about nine hours Saturday after a crash created a potentially hazardous situation.
“It was pretty much worse case on everything,” said Sgt. Brady Zaugg with the Utah Highway Patrol.
I-15 was closed in both directions around mile marker 282 stating at about 10:45 a.m. Saturday after a liquid petroleum tanker crashed, according to Zaugg.
Southbound lanes reopened around 7:30 p.m., and northbound traffic opened at about 8:20 p.m., according to the Utah Department of Transportation.
Southbound traffic was reopened once the butane was removed. Evacuations to nearby residents were also lifted at that time. Zaugg said northbound I-15 remained closed until the vehicle was completely removed.
The tanker, which Zaugg said was carrying butane, was leaking.
"We did want to keep people away as a precaution," Zaugg said. "So thankfully it was a very, very slow leak."
Both directions were closed as a precaution because the crash posed an explosion hazard.
No one was injured in the crash. The cause was not known, as of 7:45 p.m. Saturday.
Estimated times for when the roadway would open were pushed back throughout the day, going from 12:30 p.m., according to the Utah Department of Transportation, to 3:30 p.m. and beyond.
“With something like this, it could be a while,” Zaugg said earlier in the day.
The delays were caused by the situations the crash presented and the process of transferring the butane from one vehicle to another. Zaugg said the tanker had rolled in a precarious position and started leaking. Another truck from the same company was needed, and its equipment wasn’t designed to transfer that much liquid at a time.
“It wasn’t exactly a normal process,” Zaugg said.
The process took four hours, twice as long as expected.
Southbound vehicles was diverted off the interstate at the State Route 92 exit. Northbound traffic was diverted off the interstate at Lehi Main Street. From there, vehicles could take State Street to 2100 North to travel back onto I-15. The 2100 North southbound on ramp was closed.
UDOT monitored traffic signals in Lehi to help keep traffic moving through the detoured area.
Residents who lived within a quarter mile of the crash were notified that they needed to evacuate, according to Cameron Boyle, the public information officer for Lehi. That evacuation order included the Brookstone Apartments, but no homes Boyle was aware of.
"Anyone who is within that radius may have received a notification or a phone call," Boyle said.
Evacuees were directed to a church at 700 W. 2630 North in Lehi.
Boyle suggested for travelers in the area to avoid I-15 around the closure, westbound Main Street in Lehi and southbound State Street in Lehi as the closure continued.
Zaugg said some vehicles had gone around the closures to travel southbound on I-15. When caught by officials, Zaugg said the drivers were likely issued citations.
Investigators arrested 26 people who were involved in human trafficking dealings during a three-day undercover operation last week in Lehi.
The Utah County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit, the Lehi Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security Investigators partnered with Operation Underground Railroad to conduct a human trafficking operation.
A total of 26 people were arrested, including many individuals who reportedly agreed to sexually assault children under the age of 18, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.
The operation also rescued several victims of human trafficking and officials are currently offering aid and assistance to them.
At least three individuals were arrested under investigation of exploiting a prostitute, or the role of acting as a pimp. Other individuals were reportedly under investigation for drug activity in addition to human trafficking.
Shane Smith, 26, of Murray, started chatting with an undercover agent he believed to be a 13-year-old girl. He reportedly planned to drive her to California and pay her $200 for sexual acts, a police probable cause report stated.
He was arrested at an arranged meeting place and booked into jail for enticement of a minor, exploitation of a minor and attempted aggravated kidnapping of a minor. At the time, he was also on pre-trial release on a previous arrest in Salt Lake County for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
“It is important to recognize that these arrests came from a three-day human trafficking sting operation, in one small area, in one county in Utah,” the press release stated.
The Unified Police Department, the Salt Lake City Police Department and the Provo Police Department also assisted in the operation that lasted from Nov. 19-21.
A 6-year-old boy was killed Friday morning in a snow removal accident in Provo Canyon, according to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.
Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the Sheriff’s Office said the boy was riding on a skid-steer loader with his father and 9-year-old brother near Aspen Grove when he “fell forward and out of the seating area” and was injured by either the loader bucket or the arms of the loader bucket.
The father began CPR but paramedics with the North Fork Fire Department determined the boy had died, Cannon said.
The boy’s body was taken to the medical examiner’s office in Taylorsville.
Cannon said the incident appeared to be a “tragic accident” and that the sheriff’s office doesn’t anticipate an autopsy to reveal any new information.
Neither the 9-year-old boy nor the father were physically injured.
The boy’s name will be released once more family members have been notified, Cannon said.
An Alpine man is facing felony charges for reportedly sexually assaulting a teenager for years, despite the teenager’s mother allegedly knowing about the abuse.
Kristopher Avard Kinkade, 53, was charged on Monday with three counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and one count of object rape, all first-degree felonies. He is also charged with three counts of forcible sexual abuse, all second-degree felonies.
If convicted, imprisonment is mandatory for the aggravated sexual abuse charges with a possible 15 years to life sentence for each count.
Earlier this month, investigators met with a girl who reported Kinkade had sexually abused and assaulted her since 2015.
The assaults and abuse reportedly happened at different locations across the West, but “primarily have occurred in Utah County in Alpine and Cedar Hills,” according to a probable cause statement from the Lone Peak Public Safety Department.
Nearly three years ago, a sibling of the teenager reported similar allegations about Kinkade and the teenager. But “the mother was aggressively uncooperative, by refusing to allow her daughter or anyone else to speak with the police, and demanding the case to be closed,” police reported.
“It is believed the mother is aware of the abuse, and for whatever reason is not taking to appropriate steps to protect her daughter,” the probable cause statement reported.
Kinkade is being held at the Utah County Jail without bail. He appeared in 4th District Court on Tuesday for an initial appearance on the charges.
Investigators discovered Kinkade was charged in 2009 with reportedly patronizing a prostitute in Lehi.
In 2011, he was convicted of four second-degree felonies of communications fraud. Charges state Kinkade created a Ponzi scheme to steal $300,000 from five different individuals between 2007 to 2009.
Court records show he continued to pay restitution to the individuals until his arrest last week.
A new study finds Utah is the No. 2 smartest state in the U.S.
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Education, the College Board and ACT, SafeHome.org released the study with rankings based off of several categories, including bachelor's degrees, professional degrees, college prep test scores and high school graduations.
According to the data, 22.8% of adults over 25 have bachelor's degrees, public high school graduation rate is 86%, the mediat SAT score from 2018-19 is 1,230, and the average composite ACT score from 2017-18 is 20.4.
The only state to out-smart Utah is New Jersey, and Utah's adjacent state, Idaho, placed dead last.
According to SafeHome.org, a 2018 study found that 65% of Americans believe they have above-average intelligence, and that certainty of one's superior intellect increased with income and education but decreased with age.
Brigham Young University’s police force is investigating reports of stickers and posters promoting a white supremacist group that were found on campus, according to a social media post from the university Wednesday.
“University Police have been informed and are looking into the issue,” the post reads. “These stickers and posters are not authorized, and in accordance with university policy, they will be removed if they are placed on campus. BYU stands firmly against racism in any form and is committed to promoting a culture of safety, kindness, respect and love.”
The post goes on to quote The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns and operates the university, and states that white supremacy is morally wrong, sinful and condemned.
Posters and stickers popped up on the campus and along its perimeter earlier this week. The organization the materials promote uses similar tactics on other college campuses, according to the post.
The university encourages those who have witnessed or experienced incidents associated with white supremacy to call the Dean of Students Office at (801) 422-2731 or contact BYU University Police at (801) 422-2222 if someone’s safety is at risk.
A former Provo teacher at Centennial Middle School will serve more than a month in jail for giving alcohol to a teenage student and sending her nude pictures of women.
Jefferson Hendricks Hall, 39, was sentenced to 45 days in jail and two years on probation for two class A misdemeanors of furnishing alcohol to a minor and attempting to deal harmful materials to a minor.
As part of a plea agreement, a third-degree felony of dealing in materials harmful to a minor was dismissed.
Judge Darold McDade in 4th District Court ordered the American Fork man to report to the Utah County Jail for his sentence on Dec. 6.
According to charges, Hall sent inappropriate pictures to a 16-year-old female student sometime in July 2019. They had also sent numerous text messages about tattoos, games, family life and sex, although not with each other, police reported.
The teenager told investigators Hall had given her alcohol when she slept at his residence in 2018. She denied there had been any sexual contact with Hall, charges state.
In interviews with police, Hall reportedly said he had similar conversations with other students, but he is not currently facing any additional charges.
Hall taught seventh grade and eighth grade math last year at Centennial Middle School, according to Provo City School District officials. He had been employed with the Provo City School District for five years and was scheduled to start teaching at Timpview High School before his arrest.
Investigators with the Utah County Attorney’s Office filed charges on Friday against seven men who reportedly used a computer glitch to undermine a Lindon company and steal clients for a competing business.
Eric Oldson, 44, of Orem; Jason Marsh, 43, of Mapleton; John Priday, 40, of Lehi; Michael Perley, 36, of Lehi; Spencer Oldson, 37, of Provo; Tyler Fredrickson, 35, of Springville; and Jeffrey Johns, 41, of Henderson, Nevada were all charged with a first-degree felony of unlawful activity and a second-degree felony of computer crime.
At some point in November 2015, a computer glitch disabled the company website for Vox, a Lindon-based marketing company.
“The company requires that each employee accessing the system has a unique user name and password. That system allows the company the ability to regulate what each employee can access,” charges state. “At some point the code requiring a name and password for that page was disabled without Vox’s knowledge.”
The men aforementioned were all employees of a company competing with Vox, police reported. After discovering the glitch, the men reportedly shared access with each other and found private information from Vox like pricing, customer item numbers, plans, tendencies, preferences and recommendations.
Using the stolen information, the men reportedly contacted Vox’s customers without solicitation and underbid Vox, sometimes by only a few cents, according to charges.
“This continued through August 12, 2016 when a customer informed Vox there may be a problem,” court documents state. “Vox discovered the error in the code and repaired the security glitch that allowed the defendant access to the victim company’s proprietary information.”
Police reported the men’s actions cost the company more than $5,000 in revenue. Court records show none of the men have any prior criminal history.
Springville Fire and Rescue are investigating a fire that started in the Reams attic in Springville Monday. Shoppers in the store were evacuated.
According to Lt. Warren Foster, Springville spokesman, the call came in around 5:30 p.m. and the fire was out by about 5:45 p.m. but they are still looking to see if there were any fire extensions that have not been put out.
Foster says the fire was small and that employees had extinguished the fire before the fire department arrived. The store was evacuated because of residual smoke.
The fire was started by a heater in the attic area of the breezeway between the two entrance doors, Foster said.
There was some, but not a large amount of damage, Foster said. Some tiles had to be removed from the ceiling to reach the attic area.
Pleasant Grove girls volleyball coach Allyce Jones has been sharing her heart and her time with her team and her growing family for the past nine years.
Jones — one of the most successful girls volleyball coaches in the state — has resigned her position to spend more time with her family and raise her children: A daughter age 6 and two sons ages 4 and 2.
Jones said she and her husband, Ryan, decided before the season that this year would be her last.
“I’m a mother and with volleyball, it’s been crazy,” she said. “I’ve just been gone so much with the high school season, the summer stuff and team camps. There’s so much more to it now.”
Jones took over the Pleasant Grove program in 2011, with her team losing in the 5A quarterfinals. The next eight seasons have been a remarkable run for one of the state’s top programs: Jones and the Vikings have appeared in eight straight large school state championship matches, winning in 2012, 2013, 2014 (Class 5A) and 2019 (Class 6A).
This season, Pleasant Grove came into the Class 6A Tournament as the No. 3 seed behind Copper Hills and Fremont. The Vikings swept Weber, Bingham and Fremont to reach the championship match then topped Copper Hills 3-1 for the 6A title.
Ryan Jones posted on his Facebook page: “We decided before the year began that this would be her final year, but she didn’t want anyone to know as she wanted all of the focus to always be on her team, and not about her leaving because that is the type of coach she is.
“It has been an amazing ride for her these past 10 years. The last 8 her team has been to the large school state final, winning 4 state championships. She’s been a Utah Coach of the Year, NFHS West Sectional Coach of the Year and had four Division I college assistant job offers. Above all of the accomplishments, it’s the relationships she has built with her players and fellow coaches that have brought her the most joy.”
Allyce Jones said leaving her program is “heartbreaking” but that she will cherish the memories.
“I’ll miss my girls, being around them on a consistent basis,” she said with emotion in her voice. “And my assistant coaches have become some of my best friends. We’re just so happy it ended the way it did.”