One dead, several injured after Salt Flats crash

Local News

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 Utah)- One person is dead and five others are injured after a collision near the Bonneville Speedway Wednesday morning.

The incident happened just before 9 a.m.

“It’s a horrific thing to happen,” said Pat McDowell, race director at Bonneville Salt Flats.

Officials say two support vehicles on their way back to the starting area collided and rolled while on the access road that empties to the pit area.  McDowell said four people were inside the pickup truck and two were in the van that were involved.

“I can confirm one fatality,” McDowell said.  “I have no names at this time.”

He said the accident happened along the access road and is coned off.  But he said there were no eyewitnesses and did not know how the two vehicles collided.  McDowell said those who crashed were part of a support team for drivers.

Five other people suffered injuries. Three medical helicopters responded to transport the victims.

Wednesday afternoon, a spokesman for the Tooele County Sheriff’s office offered more details about the accident.  Eli Wayman with the sheriff’s office said the fatality involved a 65-year old California man.  His identity is being withheld until family is first notified.  He said the deceased was in the pickup truck.

“Our initial understanding is that they were not wearing seatbelts.”

The speed limit along the access roads is 55 miles per hour.  But authorities do not know how fast the vehicles were traveling when they collided.  Wayman said the driver of the pickup truck was traveling east and the van was coming in the opposite direction heading west.

“The pickup truck turned into the van and we had a head on ,” said Wayman. “It’s under investigation. We don’t have all the details as to why that happened.”

The sheriff’s office released a statement claiming the two drivers in the van were a 74-year old man and a 75-year old female.  The van had Florida license plates.   The sheriff’s office also said those in the pickup truck were 73-year old and 77-year old males, a 48-year old male and the 65-year old deceased man.

The speedway is hosting “Speed Week” this week.  McDowell said they will continue to race.

“We’re going to race that’s what we came do do,” McDowell said.  “Our hearts are sad for the people injured and the loss of life.   People racing know the danger involved. We’re going to continue racing and finish our week the best we can.”

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