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Car accident marks 3rd Provo Canyon fatality in 6 weeks


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Provo Canyon is the scene of another fatal car crash. This morning, a man was killed, and five people were sent to the hospital. This is the third fatal accident in the canyon in six weeks.

Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) troopers say a man driving a small car veered into oncoming traffic and slammed head-on into a Yukon. "The Yukon rolled over, went off the side of the road, and ended up on its top," said UHP Sgt. Brett Christensen.

Troopers say the five passengers inside the Yukon, two adults and three children, will be OK. They were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The driver of the car, who troopers say crossed the center line, was killed on impact. "There's no reason that we've been able to determine why the car would have crossed the center line," Christensen said.

It's a tragic outcome to an accident troopers say was most likely caused by a mistake. "Canyon roads are not as forgiving when you make an error," Christensen said. "Driver error seems to be a contributing factor."

UHP trooper Jared Clanton said, "There was a distraction of some kind, we think, but there's really no way of knowing."

It's the third deadly accident in Provo Canyon in recent weeks. In mid-May, two young children were killed when the car they were riding in was broadsided by a truck. The car was pulling out of Vivian Park onto Highway 189.

And earlier this month, a BYU track star died near the turnoff for Squaw Peak Road when the driver of the car she was riding in made a left-hand turn and collided with an oncoming car.

So, is this a dangerous canyon? Troopers say no. "As far as canyon roads go, this one is actually quite safe," Christensen said.

But Highway 189 is not like the freeway. Troopers say that's where drivers need to use caution. "They need to realize they're not out on the freeway, not driving with freeway speeds they do on the freeway. Drive with caution," Christensen said.

Troopers are not sure what caused the driver to drift over into the other lane. They have not released his name, but it's believed he lived in Utah County.

E-mail: rjeppesen@ksl.com
E-mail: corton@ksl.com

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Randall Jeppesen
    Courtney Orton

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