WOODS CROSS, Utah -- Three people were killed in a head-on crash that closed southbound I-15 in the Woods Cross area early Friday morning.
Later Friday police identified the two deceased occupants of the Hyundai Elantra as 23-year-old Samantha Sanchez of West Jordan, who was driving the vehicle, and 40-year-old Paul Joseph Durocher of Draper.
The driver of the wrong-way pickup truck that collided head-on with the Elantra has been identified as 24-year-old Kristina Marie Colindres of West Valley City.
According to the Utah Highway Patrol, the crash occurred around 1 a.m. on I-15 near 2600 South in Woods Cross.
Southbound drivers were being detoured off at 500 South to Legacy Parkway, but as of just before 6:30 a.m. Friday crews had cleared the scene and traffic is moving again.
Police say the driver of the pickup truck was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes of I-15, where the truck collided with a Hyundai Elantra occupied by Sanchez and Durocher.
"We had a report that came in that the truck got on at 2600 South, " Lt. Mike McKay with Utah Highway Patrol said. "Within seconds of us receiving that report we had a collision, a report of a collision. The actual crash is about 300 yards north of the 2600 South ramp, so it’s very, very close to 2600 South. Not a lot of room to catch that truck."
Troopers say all three people were killed in the impact of the violent collision.
"There's a lot of debris across the roadway," McKay said prior to the road re-opening. "A lot of car parts and different items from the vehicles. We're working through that right now. I have several investigators here on scene that are mapping the accident scene and gathering information and evidence right now."
The crash remains under investigation.
The Durocher family released this statement:
Paul was from Oakland, Maine. He had 3 children he loved very much; ages 12, 14, and 19. Paul loved rock climbing, skiing, cooking, socializing, the ocean & mountains, and was a musician. He invested himself with technology and loved deep discussions about theology. He has lived in Utah for the past 8 years. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. The family's heart goes out to the other family's lost in this incident.
The Sanchez family released this statement:
Samantha was a vibrant sole. She was always there to help others. She worked as a 911 dispatch for 2-3 years at vecc. She called all of the officers her family away from home. To each of them my heart hurts that they have a tough job. Her life was cut short, as she was called home to her heavenly fathers for a much bigger task. We love our baby girl and will miss her deeply.
Here is a photo gallery of victims Paul Durocher and Samantha Sanchez.