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The accident took place approximately 3 p.m. at 1800 North and Redwood Road. It left three people dead, two others are in critical condition and Redwood Road completely shut down for a time.
Police say a passenger van was driving south on Redwood Road when for some reason the van went into the oncoming lane of traffic and struck the bridge embankment head on. The impact of the crash was so severe the front end of the van was literally cut in half.
Police say all of the victims in this crash are adults. A husband and wife from Montana, both in their sixties died in the crash, along with a 65 year old woman, a sister to the men in the accident.
The 59- year old driver and his 59- year old wife are both in critical condition at LDS hospital and are from the Salt Lake Valley.
Only the driver was wearing a seatbelt.
The violent nature of this crash is shocking veteran rescue workers.
Scott Freitag, Salt Lake City Fire Dept.: “In 15 years of doing this, I have not seen such a violent accident involving a van in which the patient compartment was so collapsed on an individual and they were still alive when we arrived here.”
Investigators say there are no obvious signs of alcohol or drugs. No one saw the accident and road conditions were dry when it occurred. There were also no skid marks before the crash. Medical checks and tests for alcohol or drugs are routine in accidents like this.
Redwood Road was shut down between 10th and about 30th North while investigators finish the investigation.