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22-year-old in critical condition after crashing into tree in Midvale

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MIDVALE — A 22-year-old man was hospitalized in critical condition Sunday after police say he lost control of his car, crashed into a tree and narrowly missed hitting a house.

Officers found evidence of alcohol inside the vehicle, Unified police detective Jared Richardson said, adding police are investigating alcohol and high speed as potential contributing factors to the crash.

A passenger in the vehicle, also 22, walked away from the crash in good condition, the detective said.

Police were dispatched to the scene of the crash near 7676 S. Holden St. about 4:30 p.m. When officers arrived, they found the vehicle had struck a tree and slid south into a chain-link fence, barely missing a house at that address, Richardson said.

“The house was occupied at the time, so we’re very fortunate that nobody in that home or no pedestrians were injured in this,” the detective said.

When Unified Fire Authority crews arrived, they extricated the driver from the vehicle, needing to cut away some of the chain-link fence to access him. The passenger was able to exit the vehicle on his own, Richardson said.

Witnesses told police the driver was southbound on Holden Street in the outside lanes before he quickly veered to the inside lanes. To avoid traffic that was backing up, the driver then "darted" back into the outside lanes, Richardson said.

"That's when it appeared he lost control of the vehicle and went off the roadway, striking the tree and sliding into the fence," the detective said.

Katie McKellar

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