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Police ID victims in I-80 crash that left 3 dead, 1 injured

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Posted at 12:37 PM, May 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-18 14:37:50-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Officials have identified the victims in a brief car chase that resulted in a fatal accident Saturday morning.

At approximately 5 a.m., police at Salt Lake City International Airport noticed a black Volkswagen Passat speeding out of one of the parking structures said Sgt. Larry Mower with Utah Highway Patrol.

The officer attempted to stop the vehicle, which then got onto Interstate 80 but the chase was soon terminated.

Mower said the officer continued to drive on the freeway to a median where he could turn around to go back to the airport.

“As he was approaching this turnaround area he noticed some dust in the air and thought something may have happened, so he came over to this ramp and that’s when he noticed the car on its roof,” Mower said.

The car crashed into a retention pond in-between Interstate 80 and Interstate 215, near exit 117.

The front-seat passenger was identified as Michaela Martin, 18, of Taylorsville and two male juveniles were in the back seat.

Martin was Cruz’s girlfriend.

The one surviving victim was the driver, Jonathan Cruz, 24, of West Valley City. He is currently in serious condition at an area hospital.

The accident is under investigation by the Airport Police Department, Department of Public Safety and the District Attorney’s Office.

Officials say the State Bureau of Investigation and Utah Highway Patrol are assisting with information gathering, evidence collection and screening charges with the attorney’s office.

The Volkswagen was registered to Cruz.

Investigators do not know why the driver and occupants were at the airport.