Castle Valley Comments
January 10, 2013
by Ron Drake
Jan 10, 2013 | 1094 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It has been five weeks since Judy Carroll of Moab was involved in a one-car accident on Castle Valley Drive near Castle Creek last Dec. 4. On that fateful day she was en route to Castle Valley to visit friends when her late-model Kia hit the guardrail over Castle Creek, crossed the road and landed in a deep arroyo a few yards east of the creek. She was transported to a waiting Life Flight helicopter in Castle Valley by Grand County ambulance and flown to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction where she was treated for multiple fractures, contusions and a concussion.

After several weeks of treatment at St. Mary’s, Carroll was transferred to Moab Regional Hospital, where she continues to recover from her injuries and receive physical therapy from local doctors. She will remain at Moab Regional Hospital for a while longer before returning to her home to complete her recovery.

Because of her injuries, the events leading to and immediately after her accident are still a mystery in her mind, but she has been talking to people involved in the rescue effort to help her piece together the events that occurred immediately before the accident. Carroll returned a week prior to the accident from a very enjoyable trip to Texas, where she visited with many seldom-seen cousins. She said that rather than stay at home alone during the Christmas holidays she would celebrate the season with family in Texas. On the day of the accident, one of the things she does remember is driving up state Route 128 and about two miles east of U.S. 191 she saw a man walking on the side of the road at a blind curve. She thinks that she swerved a little to avoid hitting him and made eye contact with him in the process then continued driving east on the road. “He had kind of haunting eyes,” she remembers.

Everything is a little blurry after that, but basically that is the last she remembers that day and she doesn’t remember driving on to Castle Valley where the accident occurred. She would like to talk with the man on the road and asked that if that man remembers seeing her about 12:45 p.m. on SR 128 in a green Kia to contact her at Moab Regional Hospital so she can continue to try to piece together the events of that day.

In the meantime, she says that “everybody has been so sweet” to her, including those she talked to about her rescue, as well as the personnel at Moab Regional Hospital. She would like to meet all these people and thank them personally and she is even talking about having a “fun get-together” somewhere with everyone involved after she gets back on her feet. With the positive attitude she displayed last week during our visit, she should be back on her feet in no time.


Ken Davis, project information coordinator for Flatiron Constructors, says that the foundation drilling on SR 128 has resumed, and one-way traffic signals are operating 24 hours a day. During the week of Jan. 7 to Jan. 11, commuters will encounter one-way traffic controlled by traffic signals near the drilling operations.

Excavation of the transit hub parking lot will also continue into the coming weeks, according to Davis, and the lid on the pedestrian tunnel should be completed. Commuters should allow extra time for a possible wait at the traffic lights.


The weather outside is frightful! In fact, it is downright cold. According to my next door neighbor, the temperature got down to minus-12 degrees last Wednesday, Jan. 2, and was minus-eight the following Thursday morning. Depending where you were in the valley the temperature varied a little, but it was plenty cold everywhere in the valley. Down around the creek, where one resident described it as “the cold hole,” temperatures of minus-11 were the normal for the four or five nights around last weekend.

There were two school buses in the valley this week and neither one could be started after the Christmas break because of the extreme cold. Bus driver Randy Jorgen started his assigned bus Jan. 1 to let it warm up but when he came back the following day to run it again the day before school started, it wouldn’t start. A backup bus was delivered that day but the morning of school it could not be started either. A wintertime fuel additive that should have been added to the fuel by the supplier was not, which allowed the fuel to gel in the fuel system. Some of the other Moab buses apparently didn’t start either.

There have been reports of frozen pipes in homes around the valley, an event that has not occurred with frequency in many years. When the temperature remains well below the freezing mark for days at a time pipes will freeze.


And speaking of weather, this column reported on 5 inches of snow that fell in the valley 30 years ago this week. It snowed Christmas Eve and again a few days later, followed by an estimated 40 mile per hour wind. Factoring in the wind-chill, the temperature was well below zero.

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