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WASATCH COUNTY, Utah, Oct. 20, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah Highway Patrol has identified one victim in the Wasatch County traffic collision Friday that killed six people traveling in a pickup truck.
“The driver of the pickup truck that was hit by the dump truck has been identified as Efrain O. Cardenas, 62 years old, out of Salt Lake,” a UHP statement says. “The medical examiner is still working on identifying the other five occupants, who died on scene.”
The accident happened just before noon Friday on State Route 40, near the southeast side of the Jordanelle Reservoir, at mile marker 10.
A westbound dump truck crossed the center median and broadsided an eastbound 2002 Dodge Ram pickup truck.
Three pickup occupants were ejected and died immediately from traumatic injuries.
Troopers knew one more person died inside the truck, which was flattened by the impact and weight of the dump truck. It wasn’t until hours later that the vehicles could be separated, and it was learned that three bodies were inside the crushed pickup.
“All six occupants of the Dodge Ram are believed to be male adults and were killed on impact,” says a Utah Highway Patrol statement released Friday night.
The dump truck driver — whose name has not yet been released — suffered only minor injuries, and was booked into the Wasatch County Jail after treatment at the Heber Medical Center.
Open alcohol containers and prescription pills were found in the dump truck, which was labeled with the words “High Mountain Const.” and “Park City, Utah”. The driver did not cooperate with officers, said UHP Sgt. Lawrence Hopper, who commented that the accident was probably the most “horrific” he had ever seen.
The Friday UHP statement said the dump truck driver was taken into custody.
“Once released from the hospital, he was transported to Wasatch County Jail and booked on six counts of automobile homicide, with more charges pending.”
At the time of the accident, an eastbound 2018 Jeep Wrangler swerved to avoid impact with the dump truck and pickup.
“The driver swerved to avoid the two trucks and lost control of the Jeep,” the UHP statement says. “The Jeep veered to the right, and rolled in the right hand shoulder, coming to rest upside down.”
The two women traveling in the Jeep were transported to Park City Medical Center with injuries that were not life threatening.