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DRAPER — Authorities have identified a 23-year-old man who died when the car he was driving slammed into the back of a stalled semitruck on I-15 in Draper late Wednesday, officials said.
A semitruck hauling two trailers experienced mechanical problems and stalled in the northbound lanes of I-15 near 14900 South about 10:50 p.m., according to Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Justin Dial.
A sedan approached at a high rate of speed and hit directly into the back of the semitruck. The man, who was later identified as Jacob A. Miller of West Jordan, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the semitruck was not injured.
The truck had an air malfunction, which cause the tires to lock up, according to a news release by UHP. The driver said he had been stopped for about five minutes before the crash, the release said.
The semitruck was traveling from Provo to Salt Lake City and was loaded with packages, including Amazon parcels.
Investigators are still trying to determine the exact circumstances that lead to the crash, including what the car's driver was doing.
"We don't know if he saw the semi or not. It appears it was a high-speed impact, so there wasn't much braking prior to the accident. So, it appears as though it was for him all of a sudden," Dial said.
No impairment for either driver is suspected in the crash, troopers said. But Dial said it's important for all drivers to pay attention.
"I think for most people we just kind of go through the motions. We get in our car and we go from point A to point B and really it can be extremely dangerous," he said.
The driver of the semitruck tried to move the vehicle out of traffic but couldn't due to the mechanical problems, Dial said. He did not know if the semitruck's hazard lights were on.
"This is kind of a unique circumstance in that a vehicle stalled in traffic and it's kind of hard to say if it could have been prevented," Dial said.
Dial pointed out that this is the second incident of its kind in the past 24 hours. Tuesday a truck ran into the back of a stalled semitruck on I-15 near 3300 South. However, there were no fatalities in that crash.
Contributing: Steve Breinholt, KSL TV and Alexis Pineiro, KSL TV