HEBER CITY — Six men died in a crash that took place Friday afternoon on U.S. Highway 40 near Jordanelle Reservoir, Utah Highway Patrol officials said.
Emergency crews responded to a report of a crash near the reservoir around noon, according to UHP Sgt. Lawrence Hopper. A dump truck traveling west on the highway crossed a median, vaulted over a cable barrier and broadsided the pickup truck traveling in the other direction, Hopper said. The dump truck ended up on top of the pickup after the collision.
Three men inside the pickup truck were ejected and died at the scene of the crash. The three other men inside the pickup truck were not ejected but also died, UHP officials said. Their names and ages were not released.
"I think horrific is the best way to put it," Hopper said describing the scene. "There's little left of that pickup truck."
Shortly after the initial collision, a Jeep trying to avoid the crash lost control and rolled, coming to rest in an embankment about 50 feet from the dump truck. Two women inside the Jeep were transported to Park City Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries, UHP officials said.
Hopper said they believe alcohol may have factored in the crash because they found open alcohol containers and prescription pills inside the dump truck. He said the male driver of the dump truck was transported to a hospital for toxicology tests. The driver wasn’t being cooperative with authorities on scene, according to Hopper.
About two minutes before the crash, another driver in the area reported that a dump truck was driving erratically nearby, troopers told KSL TV. They believe that call was in relation to the truck that was then involved in the crash.
The driver of the dump truck had minor injuries after the crash. After he was released from the hospital, he was taken to the Wasatch County Jail and was booked for investigation of six counts of automobile homicide, with other charges pending, UHP officials said via the agency's website.
The dump truck driver's identity was not released Friday.
Park City police, Heber City police and Wasatch County Fire District officials were also at the scene assisting UHP troopers.
An eastbound lane was briefly closed because of the crash, according to the Utah Department of Transportation. Traffic in the area was normal as of 9 p.m. Friday, according to UDOT's website.
Friday’s crash was the second fatal wreck on U.S. Highway 40 in 24 hours and the third since Sunday.
A 21-year-old Florida man died after the car he was driving collided with a semitruck near Duchesne late Thursday night. A 42-year-old Salt Lake City man died in a one-vehicle crash on the highway near Currant Creek in Wasatch County on Sunday.
Contributing: Jed Boal, KSL TV
Editor's note: This story initially said state Route 40 as the name of the highway where the crash occurred. It has been updated to reflect the correct name of the road as U.S. Highway 40. An earlier version of this story also indicated the men killed in the crash were in the dump truck when they were, in fact, in the pickup.