Six Die in Weekend Vehicle Accidents

Six Die in Weekend Vehicle Accidents

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CEDAR CITY, Utah (AP) -- Former Parowan city manager James Bruce Burns has been killed in a rollover on Interstate 15.

Burns, 52, a Cedar City native, was one of six people who died in highway accidents during the holiday weekend. In addition, a Utah County man died in an ATV accident.

Burns was killed Sunday morning in an accident 10 miles south of Cedar City.

Highway Patrol Trooper James Keller said it appeared Burns fell asleep at the wheel or was distracted.

The vehicle drifted off the left side of the roadway, Burns overcorrected and the vehicle then slid sideways across the roadway. The driver overcorrected the other way and the vehicle rolled multiple times, coming to rest on its side on the frontage road.

Burns was not wearing his seat belt, Keller said.

Burns was the oldest son of the late former District Court Judge J. Harlin Burns and the brother of former Iron County Attorney Scott M. Burns, now deputy director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy,

He was city manager in Parowan from February 1986 to December 1994.

The ATV accident claimed the life of Kenneth Wade Cook, 38, of Cedar Valley.

The accident happened Saturday about 1 1/2 miles north of Utah 73 near Cedar Fort.

When Cook did not return to a meeting point, his friends went looking for him about 11 p.m. and found him trapped under his ATV. He was not breathing and resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.

Drowsiness was blamed for two fatal accidents Saturday morning.

The first crash claimed two lives on U.S. 89 about four miles north of Hatch in Garfield County. About 5 a.m. Pablo Cruz, 18, and Daniel Riviera, 28, both of Kearns, died after their 1995 Toyota Corolla drifted into oncoming traffic while going around a curve. The car slammed head-on into a mail truck driven by Billy Terrel, 29, of Kanab, who was not injured.

About 45 minutes later, Samuel Mojica, 29, of Salt Lake City, died when he lost control of his car on Interstate 80 near Wendover, drifted into the median and rolled several times.

Another deadly crash occurred Saturday afternoon 33 miles east of Heber City on U.S. 40. Highway Patrol Sgt. Sheldon Riches said a westbound pickup crossed a double-yellow line and passed several vehicles before colliding head-on with an eastbound SUV.

Kyle Baldwin, 28, and his wife Jennifer Baldwin, 29, were killed in the SUV.

The pickup driver, Jeremy Obermueller, 22, did not suffer significant injuries. A passenger in the truck, Ashley Jean Birchell, 20, was flown to the University of Utah Medical Center.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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