Tragic Carbon County crash claims life of 6-year-old girl

Apr 7, 2024, 10:45 AM | Updated: Apr 8, 2024, 11:32 am

HELPER — A semitruck and a pickup truck crashed on U.S. 6 Sunday morning, killing a 6-year-old passenger and injuring the two drivers involved.

“At first, the calls came in looking like everybody was okay,” said Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Evan Kirby, who responded to the crash around 5 a.m. “People were out walking around. Then shortly thereafter, we got reports that there was a child involved and she was not breathing.”

He said a red pickup truck towing an empty flatbed trailer was traveling west on U.S. 6. At milepost 223, the truck drifted into the east lane and was struck by a semitruck.

“Everything right now makes it look like it was drowsy driving,” Kirby said.

Cpl. Andy Battenfield, also with the UHP, said the two vehicles collided “passenger side to passenger side.”

The 6-year-old girl was riding in a car seat on the passenger side behind the front seat.

“She was in a booster and properly restrained,” Kirby said. “The damage was just so significant, it wasn’t able to keep her safe.”

The girl died at the scene.

Her father, who was driving the pickup was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, along with the driver of the semitruck.

“The driver of the pickup stated that he was tired,” Kirby said. “He was on his way back from Colorado Springs and had been driving several hours last night before the crash.”

Kirby said the speed limit in the area where the crash happened is 60 miles per hour. He said the two drivers were going with the flow of traffic.

“With that little distance, those speeds, there’s just not a lot of perception reaction time to do much about., and so the semi driver just didn’t have an opportunity to do anything about it,” he said.

In September, one person was killed and others were seriously injured in a head-on crash in the same area.

Another head-on crash there last May claimed another person’s life.

One dead, one injured after head-on crash in Spanish Fork Canyon


In all of those incidents, investigators said one of the drivers crossed over into the lane traveling the opposite direction.

“We’re going into the summer months,” Kirby said. “We will see an uptick in traffic on that stretch of road, not just us, the citizens of Utah travel to the national parks down south, but also, you know, you get a lot of out-of-state travelers on that road traveling to the national parks.”

Kirby emphasized taking breaks and being alert behind the wheel. It could save a child’s life.

“When there’s children involved, it’s always very hard on everybody,” he said.

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Tragic Carbon County crash claims life of 6-year-old girl