SAN JUAN COUNTY, Utah, May 31, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — A man died Friday when he failed to negotiate a turn and struck a cliff wall, a Utah Highway Patrol statement says.
The accident happened at about 1:56 p.m. that day, after a black Kia Optima traveled north on State Route 163, near Mexican Hat, in southeast Utah.
“A black Kia Optima was traveling northbound, crossing the San Juan River at the Mexican Hat bridge,” the UHP statement says.
“On the north side of the bridge, there is a 90-degree right hand curve. The Kia failed to negotiate the curve and struck the cliff wall.”
The 49-year-old driver died of his injuries. His two juvenile passengers, a 14-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy, sustained severe injuries and were airlifted from the scene to an area hospital.
The man who died was identified as Joel Ashike, 49, from Kaibito, Arizona.