TREMONTON — Rain and wet roads caused 14 crashes throughout Box Elder county Friday. The crashes killed one man and sent several others to the hospital with severe injuries.
Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Lee Perry said troopers responded to the fatal accident at 12:14 p.m. near milepost 374 on Interstate-15. A Toyota Camry was traveling northbound and failed to realize traffic was slowing down for another accident. The driver, 75-year-old John F. Hallum of Caldwell, Idaho, collided into the back of a flat bed semi-trailer.
Hallum died at the scene. A 66-year-old female passenger, Sandra K. Hallum was pinned inside the vehicle and had to be extricated by Tremonton and Honeyville Fire Crews. She was transported by ambulance to Bear River Hospital and later flown to McKay Dee Hospital. She suffered severe injuries to her legs, torso, and a critical injury to her head.
Troopers believe both occupants of the Camry were wearing seat belts. The driver of the semi truck was uninjured.
The crash partially closed a section of I-15 for two hours while crews extricated the passenger and cleared the scene.
Perry explained that the slow traffic at the time of the fatal crash was caused by another accident two miles further north. A Hyundai Elantra had failed to decrease speed for a nearby construction zone and rear-ended a gas tanker. Both occupants of the Hyundai were hospitalized with broken bones.
Another severe crash occurred just after 4 p.m. when a VW Passat lost control, while traveling northbound near milepost 398. The car went off the freeway to the right and ended up in a large ravine.
The driver, Antonio Duran, called 911. The 33-year-old from Riverside, California, was able to stay on the phone with dispatch operators until emergency crews were able to arrive. He and a female passenger were both flown by helicopters to nearby hospitals with serious injuries.
Perry explained that most of the crashes were caused by people driving too fast for the wet roads.