One killed in collision near Deer Creek Reservoir

Oct 1, 2023, 1:08 PM | Updated: Oct 3, 2023, 4:21 pm

PROVO — One person is dead after a collision involving a truck with a trailer and a semi-truck.

The crash happened near mile marker 20 on U.S. Highway 189 near Deer Creek Reservoir. Police identified the driver as 77-year-old John Friel, from Herriman, Utah.

“We had a pickup, a Ford F-150 that was traveling northbound hauling a camper,” said Utah Highway Patrol trooper Chris Hunt.” For some reason, they went across their lane and came into oncoming traffic, where they collided with a semi that was traveling southbound.”

Hunt said the pickup truck driver died on the scene. His camper detached from his truck.

“It pretty much completely came apart on impact and debris was scattered everywhere from that,” he said.

Trooper Hunt said the truck caught on fire and rolled into the embankment.

“It appeared that fire started at the point of impact,” he said.

Officials are investigating the cause of the head-on crash.

“We don’t know why, what may have caused them to cross all lanes of traffic into oncoming traffic,” Hunt said.

View of the accident in Provo Canyon on Oct. 1, 2023. (Steve Fisher)

One person was killed in a crash near Deer Creek Reservoir on Oct. 1, 2023. (Steve Fisher)

Officials said the driver of the semi went to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police say, considering the circumstances of the crash, there wasn’t a lot he could do.

“Especially for a semi who is hauling goods, being that heavy there’s not a whole lot they can do to stop on a dime,” Hunt said.

UHP could confirm where the pickup driver was headed or what he was doing on the road. They said it’s crucial that drivers pay attention, especially when more drivers are on the road for fall drives.

“The majority of vehicles passing are on their cell phone or distracted in some form,” Hunt said. “In the middle of a dangerous scene like this, doesn’t help anything.”

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One killed in collision near Deer Creek Reservoir