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Four teens die in Sunday morning crash

The crumpled remains of a Chevrolet Aveo that was going nearly 100 miles-per-hour lays on its side just off Emma Park Road Sunday.

By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

A car accident that was discovered around 7 a.m. Sunday morning by a Carbon county resident took the lives of four teenagers on the Kyune Pass/Emma Park Road near the top of Price Canyon.

According to the Utah County Sheriff's Department the dead teenagers were Vanessa Estrada, 13, of Payson, Jose Flores, 16, Mauro Lopez, 16 and Manuel Gonzalez, 19, all of Orem.

Deputies speculated that based on their investigation the mini van was traveling around 100 miles per hour when, while heading westbound, it hit the jersey barrier just before the bridge that turns across the Union Pacific Tracks and the Price River. The impact of the van hitting the barrier cracked the concrete and bent the steel reinforcement inside.

Flores was the driver of the van and was the only person to survive the initial crash. He crawled out of the van and made it a short distance from the vehicle before he died. The others were found dead in the van. Estrada was not wearing a seat belt, but the other two were.

The first investigating officer was a Carbon County Sheriff's Deputy who arrived at the scene and found all the people in the accident deceased. Initially the reports came in that three were dead. Dispatch notified the Utah Highway Patrol as well as the Utah County Sheriffs Office.

The accident took place just over the Carbon County line in Utah County and it took Utah County personnel about 45 minutes to make it to the accident. By that time there were a number of highway patrol officers on the scene along with the original Carbon County Sheriff's Deputy. There were also first responders from the Helper Fire Department.

An ambulance from Carbon County was dispatched, earlier, but was turned around when if was found all the victims were deceased.

Emma Park Road (or Kyune Pass Road as it is known on the Utah county side of the line) is a road that is used sparingly by those that are traveling from the Uintah Basin to Spanish Fork and points south. The speed limit on the road is 40 miles per hour. The road is not maintained during the winter and is often closed down during snow storms.

Initially there was some confusion in news reports concerning the location of the accident. Some reported that it took place on Highway 6, where construction is presently going on, but the accident actually occurred more than a quarter of a mile away from road that was once proclaimed by a national magazine as one of the most dangerous highways in America.

While toxicology reports have not been returned yet, the Utah County Sheriff's Department doubts any drugs or alcohol were involved in the accident.




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