UPDATE: Police identify victims of deadly crash in Wasatch County

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WASATCH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – Officers have identified the victims of the deadly car crash that killed three in Wasatch County, Sunday.

The Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office identifies the victims as Amy Nelson from Heber City, 18-year-old Payton Caldwell and Emma Call, both girls who recently graduated from Wasatch High School.

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According to officers, on June 7th, Nelson was traveling on SR 189 toward Heber City when her vehicle was struck from behind and sent into oncoming traffic. Nelson’s vehicle then collided with a vehicle occupied by Payton Caldwell and Emma Call, both 18 year old girls who recently graduated from Wasatch High School and were preparing for college.

“Through no fault of their own, Amy, Payton, and Emma were tragically killed in the accident,” shares the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office. They add:

“We express our love and respect for the victims of these tragic accidents, as well as the families, friends, and everyone involved in any way. Life is precious, and losing each of these wonderful people, especially given their happiness, kindness, and youth is so heartbreaking for their families and the entire community.”

MONDAY 06/07/21 6:36 p.m.

WASATCH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – A fiery car crash killed three people in Wasatch County Monday evening, shutting down traffic for several hours.

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The crash happened on U.S. 189 and 3000 S. when police said a Jeep traveling eastbound slowed down from highway speeds for an unknown reason. A red truck following behind rear-ended the Jeep, causing it to catch fire and cross over into oncoming traffic.

Lt. Nick Street with the Utah Highway Patrol said the Jeep then struck a white Ford Escape before t-boning a Chevy Trailblazer, which also became engulfed in flames.

Investigators are still trying to understand why the two vehicles caught fire.

“Potentially some mechanical issue, but unknown,” Street said. “It could [also] be the way it was impacted that caused that subsequent fire.”

Street said the fiery crash killed the driver of the Jeep and two people in the Chevy Trailblazer. As of Monday night, their identities have not been released.

“One like this is exactly why we do our jobs, to try to avoid it,” Street said. “We try to educate the public as Utah Highway Patrol, the dangers of following distance, the dangers of slowing down in active travel lanes, and unfortunately today, the culmination of those two things caused three people to lose their lives.”

As far as the other people involved in the crash, Street said no serious injuries were reported and they’re cooperating with police.

Police said a neighboring field also caught fire, but did not damage any nearby structures.

After being closed for several hours as authorities looked into the incident, U.S. 189 has since reopened.

As of Monday night, Street said UHP has now investigated 22 more fatal crashes than they did at this time last year – which was already an unprecedented year for the number of fatalities on Utah roads in the last five years.  

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