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2 hospitalized after churchyard crash, vehicle fire

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KEARNS — Two men were hospitalized in serious condition Saturday when their car caught fire after hitting a tree on the lawn of an LDS meetinghouse, narrowly missing the church.

The accident occurred about 1:30 p.m. Saturday on Sam's Boulevard in Kearns, near 4260 W. 5200 South.

According to police, the car left the road for the lawn of an LDS meetinghouse. It went through two fences and hit a tree before coming to rest alongside the church.

"The tree slowed it down quite a bit," said Unified police detective Ken Hansen. "Had it not hit the tree, it probably would have gone inside the church where there was a funeral going on."

Hansen said the car's abrupt stop lit the bushes and shrubs next to the church on fire. The greenery, in turn, lit the car, endangering both passengers. A man attending the funeral soon extinguished the flames with a church fire extinguisher.

Both men were taken to Intermountain Medical Center in serious condition.

Police are investigating potential impairments, including speed. Hansen did not know how fast the car was going when it left the road, but said it was "almost certainly" above the neighborhood's posted speed limit of 25 mph.

Allison Oligschlaeger is currently studying English and Arabic at the University of Utah while completing an internship with the Deseret News. Contact her at


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