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Victims remembered in fatal Tooele County crash

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TOOELE COUNTY — A deadly chain reaction started when a van went to change lanes on U.S. Highway 36.

“There were bodies everywhere we had individuals north of the crash scene that had been ejected,” said Lt. Corey Nye with Utah Highway Patrol.

A car that they apparently sideswiped sent the van into the median and hit a Subaru head on.

In the Subaru were Melody Clement, 58, and her husband James Montoya, 61 — both were killed instantly.

“It’s sad because they were one of the sweetest couples that everybody’s waited on,” said Michaela Espinoza, a waitress at a local restaurant that the Tooele couple would visit daily.

“Very sweet, kind-hearted, generous they always want to talk to you have conversations with you — they were always nice,” Espinoza said.

The couple was always seen together.

“They’re lovey-dovey kind of couple they’re always together they talk about their trips together and things like that,” Espinoza said.

The front seat passenger in the van died on scene. Donnett McCollin, 43, of Dugway, and her husband were driving a van full of teens to a Christian rock show in West Valley City.

Four of the teens were ejected from the van.

“As of today they are all stable all the way ranging up to critical the driver of the van is in critical condition as well,” Espinoza said.

Only one of the teens was buckled in the car.

Nye wants to remind everyone to buckle up every time.

2 comments

  • Phil Redden

    It was very tragic. But a question to be answered, the van was a U.S. Government,(GSA) vehicle that has no insurance and is for official use only, not to transport outings. Who is going to be responsible for any claims? is it going to be the taxpayers.Nobody has raised this question which is bound to come up in a court case involving loss of life and medical bills for those unfortunate victims.

    • Eric Anderson

      It has insurance, obviously. The government carries liability insurance for all its vehicles. As for the “no transport”: It’s a military base, and they have chaplains. They very much CAN transport church groups to outings. You’re not required to become an atheist when you join the military.

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