MONTICELLO, Utah — A head-on collision today in southern Utah killed five people and critically injured two others, authorities said.
A van carrying five people was trying to pass a vehicle on U.S. Route 191 when it struck an oncoming sports car holding two people near Monticello, about 285 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, the Utah Highway Patrol said.
Both people in the sports car died after it burst into flames, and three of the van’s passengers were killed, Trooper Evan Kirby told KSL-TV. The other two passengers in the van were sent to the hospital in critical condition.
No names or other details were immediately released.
The wreck occurred two days after a head-on collision involving a wrong-way driver on Interstate 80 in northern Utah killed three members of a family.
According to troopers, Paul Mumford, 36, of West Jordan, inexplicably turned around Friday night and drove the wrong way before colliding with an SUV driven by Jose Adame-Orozco, 36, of Farmington.
Three passengers in the SUV were pronounced dead at the scene: Adame-Orozco’s girlfriend, Delphine John, 44, and her daughters, Deliah Ramirez, 18, and Anaya Orozco, 3.
Adame-Orozco was listed in critical condition at a hospital, while Mumford’s condition has been upgraded to stable at a hospital.
Investigators believe Mumford was driving under the influence at the time.
Troopers say both drivers were traveling at least 80 mph and did not hit the brakes, because there were no skid marks. The impact of the collision was so powerful that troopers were left in disbelief.
“That’s like hitting a brick wall at 160 miles per hour. Just a tremendous amount of force and impact,” Highway Patrol Capt. Doug McCleve told KSL.
Investigators say it does not appear the children were wearing seat belts.