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Drunken dump truck driver kills 6 in ‘horrific’ highway crash, Utah police say

A drunken dump truck driver crossed a highway median Friday in Utah, broadsiding a pickup truck and killing all six people on board, reported the Utah Highway Patrol. The collision virtually demolished the pickup truck, troopers said.
A drunken dump truck driver crossed a highway median Friday in Utah, broadsiding a pickup truck and killing all six people on board, reported the Utah Highway Patrol. The collision virtually demolished the pickup truck, troopers said. Utah Highway Patrol

Several motorists on a Utah highway called Friday to report a dump truck hauling dirt swerving and cutting off other vehicles, reported The Salt Lake Tribune.

Before troopers could catch up to it, the dump truck veered into the median, vaulting into oncoming traffic and slamming broadside into a Dodge Ram pickup truck, troopers told the publication.

All six men in the pickup died, three when they were ejected, though it took rescuers hours to find the others pinned in the wreckage beneath the dump truck, reported The Deseret News.

“I think horrific is the best way to put it.,” said Sgt. Lawrence Hopper of the Utah Highway Patrol, according to the publication.

The crash took place just before noon on Highway 40 near the Jordanelle Reservoir, reported The Gephardt Daily.

Troopers arrested Jamie Don McKenzie, 41, on suspicion of vehicular homicide after finding open containers of beer and liquor, along with prescription bottles, in the dump truck cab, reported The Salt Lake Tribune.

Two more people were injured when the dump truck glanced off their 2018 Jeep Rubicon before hitting the pickup truck, reported KSL-TV.

“I’m definitely shaken up,” said Dallas McCullough, 19, who was riding in the Jeep with her mother, according to the station. “I got out and the car was covered in blood. I have no idea how we survived it.”

McCullough suffered a broken hand and her mother a broken nose, reported KSL-TV. Their Jeep rolled over four times and wound up in a ditch.

“The roof of the car was gone,” McCullough said, according to the station. “All the windows were shattered and we were the only things in the car that (weren’t) destroyed.”

Utah troopers identified the slain pickup truck driver as Efrain O Cardenas, 62, of Salt Lake City, reported KUTV. Identifications of the other five men killed in the truck are pending.

“In my 13-year career, this is probably the worst crash I’ve ever seen,” Hopper said, reported The Deseret News.

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