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Nine people suffered injuries after a truck crashed into a COVID-19 testing site at the University of Utah on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020.

Garna Mejia, KSL TV

9 injured after vehicle crashes into University of Utah COVID-19 testing site

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Updated - Nov. 5, 2020 at 4:32 p.m. | Posted - Nov. 5, 2020 at 10:49 a.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — Nine people suffered injuries after a truck crashed into a COVID-19 testing site at the Rice-Eccles Stadium parking lot on the University of Utah campus Thursday morning.

The crash took place about 9:43 a.m. at the site, which is just west of the stadium, according to Salt Lake City Fire Department Capt. Anthony Burton. Four people were taken to a hospital after the crash, and five people were treated for their injuries at the scene and released.

Authorities believe the truck driver may have had a medical emergency before the crash. The truck hit two cars before crashing into the test site and causing significant damage to some of the structures at the site, according to University Police Deputy Chief Jason Hinojosa.

It did not appear that any of the injured people suffered life-threatening injuries, Hinojosa said.

"This could have been a lot worse," he said.

The four people who were taken to hospitals included the driver of the truck and several University of Utah Health employees who were working at the testing site, according to Richard Orlandi, Associate Chief Medical Officer for the University of Utah Health.

Just before 4: 30 p.m., U of U Health spokesperson Kylene Metzger confirmed that two of the four people hospitalized have been discharged, while the other two remained in good condition. There were people in the two cars the driver hit, but they were not taken to hospitals, she added.

The testing site has been closed for the rest of the day, according to a tweet from the University of Utah. People who had testing appointments Thursday and Friday at the Rice-Eccles site have been contacted, and their appointments have been rescheduled at other testing sites, Orlandi said.

Despite the crash closing one of the U.'s testing sites, Orlandi said he believes other University of Utah Health testing sites will be able to handle the increased testing volume. Several sites were already taking on additional testing capacity Thursday morning, he said.

The U. processes 1,500-1,600 tests per day at all of its COVID-19 testing sites, and the Rice-Eccles site accounts for about a quarter of that, Orlandi said.

Officials will work to get the testing site up and running again as quickly as possible, he added.

We're working on gathering more information and will be updating this story throughout the day.

Contributing: Garna Mejia, KSL TV

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