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Highway Patrol identifies driver of overturned truck

A truck carrying a tanker filled with diesel fuel lies on its side after rolling on a section of SR 96.

The driver of the diesel fuel tank truck that overturned on SR 96 near Scofield May 26 has been identified as Joey Birch, 40, of Carbon County. Utah Highway Patrol spokesman Cameron Roden said Tuesday that the investigation of the rollover has not yet determined what caused Mr. Birch to drift off the right side of the narrow highway.

The highway is straight at the location of the mishap, but the paved shoulders are narrow along this section of road.

University of Utah Hospital spokeswoman Ryann Rasmussen confirmed that Mr. Birch was still in that facility Tuesday, although a condition report was not available. He was transported by AirMed helicopter to the U. Hospital after being extricated from the rig by Helper fire and rescue teams, and rushed by Carbon County ambulance to Castleview Hospital.

The diesel tank did not rupture, but some diesel fuel did spill on the highway, Mr. Roden said. (Please see related story, this page.) He added that the cargo had to be pumped out of the overturned tank into another truck before the wreckage could be towed away.

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