Three dead, two critically injured in crash near Wendover

Posted at 8:05 PM, Jul 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-05 00:10:49-04

WENDOVER, Utah — Three people died and two others were critically injured in a crash on westbound I-80 near Wendover Friday evening.

The crash occurred around 7 p.m. near mile marker 29, 30 miles east of the Utah/Nevada border.

According to the Utah Highway Patrol, the victims who were killed are a mother and her two children.  One of the children was an infant, the other child was between the ages of 10 and 14. The children’s father suffered extremely critical injuries and was taken by helicopter to a hospital.

Nye said it appears neither of the children were properly buckled in.

Those four victims were occupants of a Suburban that was involved in an 80 mph head-on crash with a pickup truck.

Lt. Cory Nye, Utah Highway Patrol, said UHP received multiple reports that the pickup truck was driving recklessly prior to the crash. The pickup truck driver was also critically injured and taken by helicopter to a hospital.

“We suspect at this point that alcohol and/or drugs might be a factor in this particular collision,” Nye said.

A witness told UHP about an unusual encounter with the pickup truck driver prior to the crash.  At some point, a UHP official said, the pickup truck driver was parked in a median between the eastbound and westbound lanes.

Another driver, who had observed the pickup truck driver’s alleged reckless driving, also pulled into the median and confronted him. The pickup truck driver then turned around and drove west on I-80.  According to UHP, the pickup driver then made a U-turn and drove east on the westbound lanes, ultimately colliding head-on with the Suburban at 80 mph.