Deputies: 22-year-old Springville man survived crash east of Provo that killed 2 others

Nov 14, 2023, 9:59 PM | Updated: Nov 16, 2023, 11:04 am

UTAH COUNTY — Investigators said a 22-year-old man from Springville survived a small plane crash that killed two other men Tuesday east of Provo.

Crews responded after receiving a call at around 11:15 a.m. about the crash near Kyhv Peak Road above the Slate Canyon area.

Evan Backers, 26, from South Jordan, and Collin Niemela, 23, from Santaquin, were killed in the crash, Utah County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Spencer Cannon confirmed Wednesday.

Evan Backers and his young son, Emmett. (The Backers Family) Evan Backers and his wife, Alexis Backers, and young son, Emmett. (The Backers Family) Evan Backers and his wife, Alexis Backers, and young son, Emmett. (The Backers Family) Evan Backers and his young son, Emmett, with a plane, which was not the same plane crashed that ultimately caused Backers' death. (The Backers Family)

“Those occupants apparently died on impact,” Cannon told reporters on Tuesday. “It’s a tough situation for a lot of people to deal with.”

According to Cannon, the survivor was located away from the plane and walking.

Deputies have been at the crash site since early Tuesday afternoon. (KSL TV)

Cannon said the crash site was in steep terrain that required a “pretty rugged hike” to reach the area.

“We had LifeFlight in the area,” Cannon said. “They were able to get their hoist there and get the survivor hoisted out.”

What happened exactly remained unclear and Cannon said investigators only spoke to the survivor briefly before he was sedated for treatment at Utah Valley Hospital.

Cannon said that the survivor was able to walk away from the crash was remarkable.

“The fact that somebody was able to survive when two others did not tells you that timing was just right for that person,” Cannon said. “Anytime somebody survives a landing essentially that’s not on a runway, they’re very, very fortunate.”

Cannon in an update tweet said the flight originated from the Spanish Fork airport.

A GoFundMe* account has been set up for the family of Evan Backers and another GoFundMe account for the family of Collin Niemela.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Deputies: 22-year-old Springville man survived crash east of Provo that killed 2 others