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Crammed Car Rolls, Kills Four

Crammed Car Rolls, Kills Four

Posted - Aug. 7, 2004 at 5:51 p.m.



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Sandra Yi ReportingBret Hillyard, Father of Survivor: "I guess they slid about 75 yards before they went off the road. And i guess, from what we understand, all but two were ejected from the vehicle."

A car with 10 young people crammed inside loses control and rolls, killing nearly half of them. Investigators believe alcohol was involved. The crash happened just before 10 o'clock last night in Tooele County, between Tooele and Grantsville.

Investigators say the car was headed south when it tried to pass another car and lost control. Authorities say it's a tragedy that could have been prevented.

Lt. Ken Bryant, Utah Highway Patrol: “It’s devastating for anybody out here to have this kind of situation happen.”

The horrible car crash killed four young friends. The Utah Highway Patrol identified the victims as 16-year old Angela Aragon, 16-year old Eric Martinez, 20-year old Brooks Martinez, and 21-year old Anthony Graham. People who know the victims identified Graham as the driver. He died this morning. They were all from Tooele.

Calli Hillyard, Sister of Surviving Victim: “It’s just shocking that they’re gone and that my brother could have been, and you’d think he’d be dead too because he was in the trunk.”

Her brother, 19-year old Dustin Hillyard, had minor injuries. Their stepsister was also in the car. Their father says they just wanted a ride home.

Bret Hillyard: "I'm glad to have them with us this morning."

The crash happened just before 10:00 last night. The car was going south on S-R 1-12.

Bret Hillyard: "The kid that was driving, I guess, according to one of the girls in the car, was driving out of control."

The UHP says the driver tried to pass another car, but lost control and rolled several times. There were 10 people packed inside the white Mazda, two of them in the trunk. Officers say the driver was speeding and alcohol may have been involved.

Lt. Ken Bryant: "You don't load 10 people in the car, you don't mix alcohol. There are a lot of factors that contributed to this crash tonight."

The crash hit home for many in the community. Father Matthew Wixted knew most of the victims. He comforted their family members last night.

Father Matthew Wixted, St. Marguerites Church: "They were very grief stricken, and all we wanted to do was be present to them as best we could at that moment, allowing them to grieve."

Three people were airlifted to the hospital. One 19-year old passenger is still in critical condition. The others are expected to be ok. No one in the car was wearing a seatbelt.

Authorites say some are known gang members with pending drug charges. UHP says they are not cooperating with the investigation.

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