A two-vehicle collision on June 2 near the north Cleveland junction on Utah State Road 10 claimed the life of one motorist and severely injured a second driver.
Discussing the matter during an interview on Tuesday, Utah Highway Patrol Lt. David Bennion indicated that the fatal accident occurred at approximately 8:49 a.m. after a southbound vehicle reportedly crossed the highway's centerline at milepost 56 and collided head-on with a northbound white Chevrolet pickup truck operated by Tarina Shepherd.
The 36-year-old Wellington woman was pronounced dead at the scene and rescue crews had to extricate the victim's body from the cab of the white flatbed pickup truck, confirmed UHP Sgt. Warren Nelson during a separate interview on Wednesday.
The driver of the southbound gray Chevy Silverado, identified as 25-year-old Clifton Elliott, incurred severe injuries in the collision and emergency personnel transported the Castle Dale man from the accident scene for medical treatment, pointed out Nelson who spearheaded the preliminary investigation into the fatal traffic incident.
Elliott was later airlifted to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center and, on Wednesday afternoon, remained an inpatient in the Provo hospital's intensive care unit.
Although UHP investigators discovered no skid marks on the pavement at the scene of the incident, Nelson said the preliminary evidence indicates that Shepherd apparently attempted to execute evasive measures and avoid the accident. The white Chevy purportedly moved toward the shoulder of the highway, but collided with the Silverado in the northbound travel lane.
According to Bennion and Nelson, UHP traffic accident investigators found no evidence indicating that the incident involved a failed attempt to pass a third vehicle and the driver of the southbound Silverado apparently crossed the centerline unintentionally.
The two vehicles appear to have been traveling at rates consistent with the posted speed limit at the time of the collision, explained Nelson.
In addition, the initial evidence collected by UHP investigators appears to indicate that alcohol or drugs did not contribute to the accident, added Nelson.
No citations were issued in connection with the June 2 incident, but law enforcement authorities plan to conduct an ongoing investigation into the fatal accident, confirmed Bennion and Nelson.