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Police say they are looking at alcohol as a ‘major factor’ in crash that injured 3 people

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Posted at 6:06 AM, Jun 01, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-01 23:57:07-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY - Three people were hospitalized after a series of crashes in Salt Lake County Saturday night.

The Utah Highway Patrol says they received a call about a reckless driver at around 9 p.m. Saturday, but before troopers arrived, the driver had hit a van on I-80 near the exit to SR-201.

That crash caused the van to roll several times, and the van's driver and a juvenile in the front seat were ejected from the vehicle and transported to the hospital via medical helicopter. A second passenger in the van was wearing a seat belt in the proper way and was not ejected and only suffered minor injuries.

"Seat belts do save lives. For example, the particular individual that was seat belted in the van has minor cuts and bruises. The individuals who were not properly seated belted, or were not wearing their seat belts, had to be flown tonight in critical or serious condition," said Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Corey Nye.

Nye said alcohol was a factor in the crash, and the man who caused the crash tried to flee the scene but was caught by officers and booked into jail.

"The individual was found running up the ramp on S.R. 201 where he was taken into custody," he said.

Police said the man who allegedly caused the crash did not have ID and refused to cooperate with troopers. They said the man had to be helped to his feet and had trouble standing. The man appeared to vomit several times as police helped him lean against a patrol car before taking him to jail. Police said they believe they know who the man is but are waiting to confirm his identity before formally charging him.

"At this time we are looking at alcohol as a major factor," Nye said.

A second wreck happened at the same scene of the first accident because of a vehicle that had stopped was hit by another car that didn't stop. That crash had no injuries.