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Mark Wetzel, KSL TV file

3 men die in San Juan County crash on deadly day for Utah roads

By Jacob Klopfenstein, | Posted - Jul. 2, 2020 at 11:36 a.m.

BLANDING, San Juan County — Three Blanding men died in a rollover crash in San Juan County on Wednesday evening, authorities said.

The crash took place on state Route 276 southwest of Natural Bridges National Monument in San Juan County, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.

Just before 11 p.m. Wednesday, three men were southbound in a Toyota Tacoma when the driver swerved to the right and went off the road. The driver overcorrected, causing the truck to enter the highway again and then roll several times off the northbound side of the road, UHP said.

All three occupants of the Tacoma were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was identified Thursday as Wayne C. Palmer, 32. The passengers were identified as Kyle R. Bailey and Parker W. Palmer, both 30. All three men were from Blanding.

Speed is believed to be a contributing factor in the crash, according to UHP.

Investigators also believe the driver may have swerved to avoid a cow in the road. The area where the crash occurred is open range land, and cattle were standing near the roadway when emergency personnel arrived to the scene.

The crash was the second triple-fatal incident on Utah roads Wednesday.

About 1:30 p.m. Wednesday on state Route 18 in St. George, 24-year-old Timothy C. Roberts, as well as 72-year-old Christine E. Ilkenhans and 78-year-old Emmanuel C. Ilkenhans, of Veyo, died in a multi-vehicle collision.

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