FARR WEST, Utah — Three people were killed in a crash on I-15 in Weber County early Wednesday morning, May 24, that brought traffic to a complete halt.
The crash was first reported by the Utah Department of Transportation just after 3 a.m. Northbound lanes in Farr West at state Route 143 were closed, and traffic was being diverted east to Highway 89 during the ensuing investigation.
Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Cameron Roden said the car had stopped on northbound I-15 through Farr West when a semi-truck traveling at or near highway speeds crashed into it.
Several hours later, as Utah's morning commute was ramping up, UHP Lt. Justin Cheney provided details uncovered during the investigation. He said the vehicle, which UHP later reported was driven by a 19-year-old, had stopped in the hilly Weber County area after hitting a deer at about 3 a.m.
All five occupants were members of the same family.
The driver pulled the car to the right side of the freeway. The investigation revealed the vehicle's lights were off at the time of the impact, though it wasn't clear if they were disabled somehow when the car hit the deer or if the driver had turned them off.
The semi-truck driver traveling up the hill didn't see the unlit car in the darkness and couldn't stop in time.
It hit the back of the stopped vehicle at full speed, killing the three people in the car's back seat, identified as the driver's grandparents and cousin.
The driver and passenger were taken to the hospital in critical condition. Authorities had not confirmed the familial relationship between them as of 11 a.m.
According to UDOT, a semi-truck moving needs at least 525 feet to make a complete stop if traveling at 65 miles per hour, which is lower than most posted freeway speeds across Utah and lower still compared to typical travel speeds on I-15.
The driver of the semi-truck was uninjured. He remained on scene and is cooperating with the investigation. Authorities didn't indicate they suspected the driver was impaired in any way.
UHP said the victims' identities would be released Thursday morning.