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UPD IDs second woman who died as result of Millcreek crash

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Posted at 3:34 PM, Jun 03, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-05 15:44:27-04

UPDATE, June 6:  The passenger who was taken to the hospital in critical condition passed away, according to Unified Police. Officials identified her as Audra Howey, 35 of Millcreek.

MILLCREEK, Utah -- Two cars collided on a busy Salt Lake thoroughfare, crashing into two front yards and killing the driver of one of the vehicles Tuesday afternoon.

The crash happened in Millcreek Township at 2910 S. 700 East.

Unified Police say a silver Hyundai lodged against a homeowner's tree just feet from where a black Infiniti smashed through a fence next door. The collision was just after 3 p.m.

It's unclear who's at fault, police say. There were two people inside the Hyundai, including a 35-year-old passenger who's in critical condition and the driver, 45-year-old Keri Wartenbe, who died on scene.

There were four people inside the Infiniti, including a 17-year-old driver who's in serious condition, according to police. UPD says the three other teenagers in the vehicle were treated and released at the scene.

During an interview with FOX 13, one of the teens said, “the silver car was turning left and they could not stop, the black car could not stop.”

Unified Police say the Hyundai was headed southbound on 700 East. When it turned left at 2910 South, the Infiniti t-boned the vehicle, sending both cars into neighbors' yards.

"It was just a loud thump," said neighbor Gene Kuhrski.

Kuhrski lives next to where that Infiniti crashed and came out of his home to see the damage.

The accident also shut down a section of 700 East northbound for just over three hours.

"There's nothing indicating that (speed) was a factor at this time but as the investigation is ongoing that will be one thing we'll look at," said Lt. Justin Hoyal with the UPD.

In all, six people are connected to the crash. UPD is grateful pedestrians weren't killed but said anytime there's loss of life in an accident, it's tragic.

Police say it'll be several weeks before they can determine who's at fault. The speed limit on that section of 700 East is 45 mph. Police aren't sure how fast either vehicle was going or whether traveling the speed limit could have led to the damage in neighbors' yards.

Wartenbe lived just a block from where she lost her life. She leaves behind a husband and children. Family members grieved, watching the scene in disbelief.

"She was just a very friendly person, always helping other people and having other people coming over," said neighbor Julie Lomax.

Another neighbor, Sam Barnes, said he thinks it's terrible.

"I feel bad for the kids for sure," he said.