Crystalee Wagner and Tanya Hoyt, both of Price, Utah, lost their lives on June 24, 2010, following a fatal car accident on Highway 6 in Spanish Fork Canyon, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. According the newspaper article, traffic had backed up for over three miles following a 10:30 a.m. accident that morning at mile marker 181. About 80 minutes after this accident, Crystalee Wagner, who was driving a white Jeep, came upon the stopped traffic and was unable to stop in time. She subsequently swerved to the right, crossing another lane of traffic, where she then lost control of the Jeep. At that point, the Jeep rolled on to its side, eventually resting right side up, but in the opposite lane from where Wagner had been traveling. Six people were said to have been in the Jeep, which is only a five-passenger vehicle. Only one person was confirmed to have been wearing a seat belt, this was a four-year old child who was belted in a car seat. She luckily had only minor injuries.
Of the others, three were ejected out of the Jeep: two from the back seat as well as the driver Crystalee Wagner, who was flown to Timpanogos Regional Medical Center where she sadly passed away. Another passenger, Tanya Hoyt, 27 years old, died at the scene of the crash. The other passenger was flown to a local hospital, perhaps Utah Valley Regional Hospital, where she remains in critical but stable condition. Two others both remain hospitalized in undisclosed hospitals, one of them being moved to a Salt Lake hospital, and said to be in critical condition.
I send my deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their loved ones in this tragic car accident. I also send my best wishes to those who were injured and wish them the best recovery possible.
Highway 6 is considered one of the deadliest highways in Utah. Many seem to die each year between the stretch from Price, Utah to Spanish Fork. With recent road construction, presumably designed to make the road safer, come more dangerous conditions as the narrow road has become even more narrow and twisty than usual.
Presumably, there was insurance on the Jeep at the time of the crash. The insurance will at a minimum pay $3,000 in “PIP” coverage for medical bills, $250 per week for lost wages (up to one year) and $20 per day for household services (also up to one year). Beyond that, coverage would be available for everyone, excepting the driver, up to the limits of the insurance policy on the Jeep. It is likely that those injured will exhaust the limits of the auto policy. I would expect that the family of Tanya Hoyt will also exhaust the limits available for one person on this policy. Beyond that, those injured, and the family of the deceased, will make a claim on the “underinsured” policy that they may have had of their own, if applicable.
Also potentially relevant are what warnings that motorists were given of the hazard that lay ahead from the back up following the earlier accident. The story does not mention if the crash happened in an area where road construction was going on. This could also be another factor making driving conditions more hazardous. I would recommend that those injured consult with an experienced Utah accident and injury attorney to explore and investigate if there is fault beyond what might be attributed to the driver of the Jeep in this terrible Utah car crash.