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UHP: Aggressive driver likely caused fatal I-80 wreck


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SALT LAKE COUNTY -- A horrific crash on I-80 near the border of Salt Lake and Tooele counties killed a driver, critically injured another and snarled traffic through most of the day Saturday.

The Utah Highway Patrol says it may have been caused by an aggressive driver who fled the scene.

Troopers say around 11 a.m. a Dodge pickup truck was eastbound when a white pickup truck reportedly cut it off. That caused the driver of the Dodge to lose control. The Dodge somehow went through a small opening in the road barrier that is designed for emergency vehicles only.

It collided head-on with a FedEx delivery semi truck, which was pulling three trailers of cargo.

The driver of the Dodge, a man from Magna, died instantly; the driver of the semi was airlifted to the hospital in critical condition.

The collision caused both vehicles to catch fire. The FedEx truck was transporting ammunition, which added an extra hazard to the scene.

UHP Sgt. Jeff Nigbur said, "Ammunition has been going off periodically due to a fire that started in the cab and moved back to the first trailer. The other trailers are not on fire. The fire department is doing an excellent job of putting those flames down."

The wreck made it nearly impossible to travel between Salt Lake and Tooele. The freeway was closed in both directions for hours as crews tried to clean up the wreck. Traffic backups stretched longer than seven miles.

The Utah Highway Patrol is looking for any information on the suspect vehicle, which is described only as a dirty white pickup truck.

The identity of the driver that died has not been released.

E-mail: spenrod@ksl.com

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Sam Penrod

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