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Front Page » June 26, 2003 » Local News » Traffic accidents result in fatality, injuries
Published 4,192 days ago

Traffic accidents result in fatality, injuries


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By RICHARD SHAW
Staff reporter


Emergency response personnel from the Price City Fire Department prepare to remove one victim injured in a traffic accident Tuesday afternoon after prying open the door with the jaws of life. The accident occurred at one of the most heavily traveled intersections in the Price area. UHP investigators indicate that confusion regarding a traffic control signal that was operating in flashing mode at the intersection contributed to the mishap.

Traffic accidents in the Price area claimed the life of a local woman on Monday and injured two people on Tuesday.

The first mishap took place June 23 at 12:09 p.m.

Michael Wise, age 43 of Smyrna, Tenn., was traveling eastbound in a tractor-trailer owned by Griffith Trucking shortly before the incident occurred, according to Utah Highway Patrol investigators.

After the rig exited at the east Price interchange, a Ford Bronco driven by Alisa Shea Bearnson, age 20 of Carbon County, allegedly crossed the center line of the roadway and struck the rear tires of the trailer.

The impact of the crash tore off the front of the smaller vehicle and ripped open the driver's door.

Bearnson was reportedly not wearing safety restraints and was thrown onto the road, pointed out the law enforcement investigators.

The victim was apparently dragged with the spinning vehicle until it stopped in the middle of the highway.

When responders arrived at the accident scene, the emergency crews found Bearnson trapped under the left center part of the Bronco.

Emergency personnel had to use jacks to extricate the injured motorist from the wreckage.

Bearnson's son, 1-year-old Damian Waters, was reportedly strapped in the car seat on the right side of the Bronco when the collision occurred.

After emergency personnel at the scene removed the young passenger from the vehicle, the rescuers determined the baby was uninjured in connection with the accident.

Wise also escaped injury in the collision. Bearnson was transported to Castleview, then flown to a Wasatch Front hospital in critical condition. The victim passed away Tuesday.

"Upon investigation, we found that Ms. Bearnson crossed the center line and ran into the side of Mr. Wise's truck," indicated Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Vasquez during an interview Wednesday. "We don't know why her vehicle did that, but it did."

A second accident occurred Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of Carbonville Road and 100 North involving four vehicles.

Confusion stemming from a signal light malfunction apparently contributed to the June 24 mishap.

The stop light at the intersection was purportedly flashing yellow in one direction and red in the other, according to Price Police Officer Chad Feichko.

An eastbound Geo Metro driven by Patrick Martak of Price was reportedly attempting to make a left hand turn toward Carbonville Road while a Dodge truck driven by John Blue, also of Price, was headed across the intersection.

The Metro and Dodge collided and, in the process, banged into two vehicles at the intersection.

Riding in the car with Martak was Sherry Nay of Price. When the truck struck the Metro, the impact took out the passenger side of the vehicle and rescue personnel had to use the jaws of life to remove the door to extricate Nay.

Nay and Martak were transported to Castleview Hospital with injuries. The occupants of the Metro were not wearing seat restraints, but the driver of the Dodge pickup was, indicated Feichko.

The results of an ongoing investigation into the accident will be turned over the city attorney for further action.


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