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Alcohol may have been factor in deadly crash involving UTA bus

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WEST VALLEY CITY — Two men were confirmed dead after their car collided with a Utah Transit Authority bus parked at approximately 3750 S. Redwood Road about 10:45 a.m. Sunday. West Valley City police estimate the car was traveling between 80 and 100 mph when the accident occurred.

Police identified the driver as 18-year-old Pita Kapetaua and the passenger as 25-year-old Nelson Leituala -- both of West Valley City.

Police say the men had been out all night installing an amplifier in the car. Officers found empty beer cans in and around the vehicle after the crash, so alcohol may have been involved.

A blood draw was taken from the driver.

The southbound lanes of Redwood Road were closed for at least two hours while police conducted their investigation.

Police say the car may have struck a curb before slamming into the rear of the bus. Debris from the accident was scattered 150 yards from the accident site, authorities said.

The bus was stopped at bus stop after dropping off three passengers when the four-door sedan rear-ended it, UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter said. There were no passengers on the bus when the accident occurred and the driver was not injured, he said.

Carpenter said the agency would also review the accident. The driver has been placed on administrative leave and will undergo drug and alcohol testing as required by the agency's administrative procedures following a critical accident, he said.


Marjorie Cortez


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