Driver who died in fiery crash after hitting semitruck head-on identified


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CHARLESTON, Wasatch County — Police have identified a man who died in a crash on U.S. 189 near Deer Creek State Park on Sunday.

John Friel, 77, of Herriman, was killed in a collision between a pickup truck and a semitruck that happened about 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, the Utah Highway Patrol said Tuesday.

On the day of the crash, UHP trooper Chris Hunt said a Ford F-150 pickup truck was traveling north while hauling a camper trailer when the truck crossed into the southbound lanes.

"(They) came into oncoming traffic, where they collided with a semi that was traveling southbound," he said, adding that the pickup truck caught on fire "at the point of impact," then rolled into an embankment.

One man driving a pickup truck hauling a camper trailer died in a collision with a semitruck on U.S. 189 near Deer Creek State Park on Sunday.
One man driving a pickup truck hauling a camper trailer died in a collision with a semitruck on U.S. 189 near Deer Creek State Park on Sunday. (Photo: Utah Highway Patrol)

Friel, who was driving the Ford, later died, Hunt said.

The driver of the semitruck carrying swiss cheese was taken to the hospital with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.

Officials have not said what caused the crash, but Hunt warned drivers to be cautious and not drive distracted.

"The majority of vehicles passing are on their cellphone or distracted in some form," he said at the scene. "In the middle of a dangerous scene like this doesn't help anything."

Two other fatal crashes occurred Sunday on Utah highways. One was a single-vehicle rollover on I-70 near Green River in Emery County; the other involved a Hyundai Elantra and Ford F-250 and occurred on U.S. 40 just east of Duchesne. Click here to read more information on these crashes.

Contributing: Bridger Beal-Cvetko

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Ashley Fredde covers human services and women's issues for KSL.com. She also enjoys reporting on arts, culture and entertainment news. She's a graduate of the University of Arizona.
Shelby Lofton

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