Two dead, two seriously injured after crash involving car carrying family of four

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WEBER COUNTY, Utah -- A man and his young daughter were killed and the children's mother and the couple's other daughter both suffered critical injuries Sunday in a crash on I-15 in Weber County that occurred when a car rear-ended a vehicle that had stopped as Utah Highway Patrol troopers performed a "slow down" to remove debris from the roadway.

According to the Utah Highway Patrol, the crash occurred at about 5:23 p.m. on northbound I-15 in the vicinity of mile post 340.

UHP Troopers were performing a "slow down" to remove debris from the road. UHP states: "A slow down is where a marked unit(s) with lights and sirens moves back and forth across all lanes of traffic. This holds traffic back and creates a safe zone for another trooper to run into traffic to remove the hazard."

A Mazda passenger car was stopped behind a semi-trailer for the slow down, and a Chevy passenger car rear-ended the Mazda--pushing it into the rear of the semi.

Capt. Mark Zesiger, Utah Highway Patrol, said they are trying to determine why the driver of the car hit the stopped vehicle.

"We are in the process of interviewing [the driver], we are looking at all possible contributors--whether that be distracted driving, impaired driving or inattentiveness," Zesiger said.

A 30-year-old male in the Mazda was pronounced dead at the scene, and a 5-year-old girl riding in the Mazda was transported to a hospital--where she was later pronounced dead. (Police initially stated the child was 4 but later corrected her age in another release.)

The other two in the Mazda were a 28-year-old female and a 7-year old girl. The woman was taken to a hospital in extremely critical condition, and the other child was transported in critical condition. The woman was later upgraded and listed to be in serious condition Sunday night.

Officials confirmed the victims in the Mazda are a family of four: A father, mother and two children.

Both of the children were transported via medical helicopter. It was not clear if the woman  was driven or flown to the hospital for treatment.

The driver of the Chevy and the driver of the semi were not injured in the crash, according to UHP.

A dog riding in the Mazda suffered fatal injuries in the crash.

While several lanes of northbound I-15 and one lane of westbound I-84 were closed for several hours due to the crash, all traffic lanes had reopened by about 8:45 p.m.

26 comments

  • G. C.

    I have always thought this practice by the UHP was going to get someone killed. Too bad I was right. I spend a lot of time driving Utah freeways and I have never once seen this maneuver go as smooth as I’m sure it is drawn in the text book.

    • laytonian

      Did you read the story? The UHP was trying to remove debris in the road, which is very dangerous. YOU should just keep your eyes on the road (and the brake lights ahead of you).

    • Josh

      I’ve driven all over the Midwest and East Coast and have never seen this. Why would this be a good idea? Just stop traffic like everywhere else in the country. Of course the SUV driver is at fault but this policy is a terrible one. Now half a family is dead. Just awful.

  • Anotherbob

    Nicely done driver of the Chevy, because you’re too dumb to pay attention 2 people and a dog are now dead, families changed forever. Stupid people need to stop driving.

    • David McCoy

      I think the driver is already suffering enough, I mean as far as I know, he was not mentally impaired, or otherwise unaware of what happened at the time it happened, and he certainly understands the full impact of it by now. I can understand why you’re angry, I mean I’m not excusing what he did. But couldn’t we show a little mercy and compassion, I mean he wasn’t out to kill this person on purpose like an assassin.

      • Hellllo!!

        They won’t show compassion, bc the way the media words stuff it’s so easy to show hate! You’re correct the driver probably is beating herself up. Im sure if she was impaired or texting this wouldn’t still be pending!!

  • BriannaC

    Its never the people that cause these horrific accidents to happen that lose their lives. Its always the person(s) they hit. If I caused something like that, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. Prayers to the families involved.

  • Jen

    Just my observation…. This story line doesn’t match the images. The silver Mazda skid marks are not behind the semi, your article states “Mazda passenger car was stopped behind a semi-trailer for the slow down, and a Chevy passenger car rear-ended the Mazda–pushing it into the rear of the semi”. Can we please get some accurate reporting rather than guesstamations. My heart goes out to the family suffering from such a tragic loss..

    • Hellllo!!

      Finally someone else says it! The marks aren’t adding up and neither is the way the car was turned. I understand impact, but if the story is correct there is NO way the driver of the Chevy would of walked away. So I honestly would like to hear facts and more details. It is sad that this family is going through that, and I am sure the woman who hit them is beating herself up. These disgusting comments aren’t even necessary and I’m pretty sure the wife and the other daughter would not agree to everyone bashing and being hateful! Main thing is showing them support and comfort not beating up the driver or the person who dropped the load, bc that is probably the last thing they want to hear..

  • knat

    It’s not hard to see brake lights up ahead if you’re paying attention to the road. Other day lady in front of me was doing 60 in the fast lane holding up traffic. I got around her and her one hand was flapping around the steering wheel and the other holding her phone up to her ear. She was to “into her conversation ” to notice what was going on around her.

  • DGrif

    I have been driving 500 miles per week on I-15 between WVC and Springville for the last 25 years. I am dismayed and shocked at the incredulous display of irresponsible driving practices that I see every day and sometimes only a minute or two after beginning my commute. Especially after the speed limit was raised to 70 mph. I can go on about the way people drive but what it comes down to is lack of common sense and perspective as to what is really going on and the unknowns that could happen at any time with zero notice. So many people are so wrapped up in their own situations and they don’t understand that they themselves are creating a hazard. Sure, I speed a little bit, but my idea of that is 3 – 4 mph over the speed limit. When I am travelling at these rates of speed, say 73-74 mph I am astounded that people are tail-gaiting and passing at rates of 85 -90 mph and even faster, practically running my little Dodge and I over. I don’t really care if I’m running late for an appointment or work, it’s usually my own fault that I didn’t get an earlier start and will pay the price for that as poor self discipline instead of driving aggressively and endangering other motorists that I am sharing the road with. Put the phone down. Don’t tailgate. Drive at a prudent speed taking speed limit, conditions and traffic into account. Pay attention astutely. Consider your payload – such as kids. Make a habit of looking far ahead – a quarter mile – as you drive. Give your brothers and sisters on the road a break. Thanks for reading this, see you out there!

  • capsaicinone

    Sad for the families involved. I’m not usually a proponent of gas-guzzling SUV’s, but if the family of 4 had been in one, this probably would have ended differently.

  • Melissa

    In my opinion unless her brakes failed in her car she should get manslaughter charges. People’s lives were lost because of her carelessness

  • David McCoy

    I drove past this on my way in from Idaho. As a truck driver myself, I can testify that this driver is mentally scarred for life. Yes, yes, I know it wasn’t his fault, but still he’s going to go through a lot of pain and nightmares before he lives this down. Fox news, I would be really encouraged if you guys would reachbout to this man and help him through his pain. We truckers are told that any crash is our fault, there’s a chance he could be suicidal.

  • David McCoy

    Does anybody know what the white globes are that UHP had stuck to the Monte Carlo roof, etc. Also the survey type equipment?

  • Jeff Krogue

    Canada has much more stringent standards for the rear crash bar on the back of trucks. If we had the same standards crashes like this wouldn’t always be fatal.

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