TOOELE — Nine patients were transported to the hospital Tuesday after a head-on crash on the I-80 frontage road between the Great Saltair and Great Salt Lake State Park. No fatalities were reported at the scene, but police said one patient is in extremely critical condition and two are in critical; four more are in serious condition.
The crash occurred about 4:20 p.m., according to Unified Fire Authority spokesman Ryan Love. Both vehicles, a Ford Explorer and a large truck pulling a trailer, were fully engulfed in flame when crews arrived. Unified Police Sgt. Melody Cutler said a trooper on the way home from work first noticed the flames on the frontage road and pulled off to investigate.
Seven people were in the Expedition and two in the truck, Cutler said.
The fire spread to the grass nearby, topping out at about one-eighth of an acre, Love said. Both the vehicle and grass fires have now been put out.
Cutler said the people in the Expedition were from out of state. "So we don't know if they were out here maybe looking at the Great Salt Lake, they came here to visit — we're not exactly sure at this point," she said.
"More than likely someone crossed over the double yellow line and we had a very tragic accident," Cutler said. But she added the crash could have been "much worse" — there were propane tanks in the back of the truck. "So we're very fortunate that, given there was a fire, that there weren't explosions on top of that."
The crash is under investigation.