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Provo woman identified as driver killed in wrong-way crash; UHP describes heroic actions of troopers

Dec 19, 2023, 2:01 PM | Updated: 2:03 pm

Trooper Rios-Redd's patrol vehicle pictured after the crash. (Department of Public Safety)...

Trooper Rios-Redd's patrol vehicle pictured after the crash. (Department of Public Safety)

(Department of Public Safety)

OREM — Authorities have identified a 26-year-old woman who was killed in a wrong-way crash that critically injured another woman and injured the state trooper whose vehicle collided with the wrong-way car.

The stop was made by Utah Highway Patrol trooper Carlos Rios-Redd. On Sunday, a caller reported a white sedan driving in the wrong direction on Interstate 15 in Orem just before 2 a.m.

Rios-Redd was stationed north of the area. He traveled south on I-15, located the wrong-way driver, and collided with the car, stopping it just before the Orem Center Street exit.

UDOT camera footage of the wrong-way collision that killed one person and injured a passenger and the trooper on Dec. 17, p2023. (UDOT)

UHP said Rios-Redd made the stop just minutes after the call was received by dispatch, “before any additional information could be gathered or broadcast to him,” UHP said in a statement.

A second trooper, Ben Fagan, then arrived to find Rios-Redd’s patrol car on fire while he was still inside. Fagan broke out the driver-side window in an attempt to remove Rios-Redd from the car. The flames in the car simultaneously were growing so Fagan went back to his vehicle to retrieve a fire extinguisher.

Multiple troopers not far behind then helped to get the car door open and Rios-Redd was later transported to the hospital with “serious but non-life threatening injuries.”

Trooper Rios-Redd intercepted a wrong-way driver on I-15 in Orem the morning of Dec. 17, 2023. (Department of Public Safety)

Trooper Rios-Redd intercepted a wrong-way driver on I-15 in Orem on the morning of Dec. 17, 2023. (Department of Public Safety)

Gov. Spencer Cox later posted that Rios-Redd had suffered a broken femur and ankle.

The driver of the white sedan, who died on scene, was identified as Natalie Munchgesang, of Provo.

The passenger who was critically injured was transported to a nearby hospital. UHP said that initially a medical helicopter was requested, but it never landed at the scene. UHP has not provided an update on her injuries.

A GoFundMe* was created for Munchgesang’s family. The message attached to the fundraiser says Munchgesang is survived by her partner and three children, ages 6, 4 and 2.

An investigation by the Utah County Critical Incident Team is still underway.


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

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Provo woman identified as driver killed in wrong-way crash; UHP describes heroic actions of troopers