Double Fatal in Provo Canyon Crash
Two dead, two hurt in Provo Canyon wreck
Janice Peterson - Daily Herald
Two teenagers were killed Monday morning after an automobile accident in Provo Canyon on their way to snowboard with friends. The 17-year-old driver, Batnyam Enkhturiin from Heber, and a passenger, 18-year-old Neal Harlan from Mapleton, were killed and two others were injured.
Utah Highway Patrol officials said the accident occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m. near milepost 11 on U.S. Highway 189. Trooper Cameron Roden said an Audi carrying four teenagers was traveling east in the canyon when it lost control and crossed into westbound traffic. The Audi then hit an SUV and a small pickup truck. All four victims were transported by ground to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, where Enkhturiin and Harlan later died.
The other two passengers in the car have been identified as Easton Olivas, 18, and Andres Vergara, 18. Both are in fair condition.
The road was closed for approximately 45 minutes after the crash and then one lane in each direction was closed until the road fully opened just before 11 a.m., Roden said investigators are still trying to determine the speed of the Audi at the time of the accident. Although the specific speed is unknown, Roden said the speed of the car is considered a factor.
"We do feel it was too fast for the road conditions he was driving in," he said.
There was snow on the shoulders of the road and the road was wet, but it is not clear how much of a role the weather played. Roden said the road was wet, but not snowpacked.
Lana Hiskey, spokeswoman for the Nebo School District, said her son was friends with Harlan until he moved while in junior high. Hiskey said Harlan was very active and would be the first one to be out snowboarding. His family was always the first to lend a hand, always very giving.
"Their family is a very close-knit family," she said.
Hiskey said the students' safety is always a concern over the holiday break. They love the snow and its potential for fun, but they do not always understand the danger of the road.
"It's always a worry," she said. "Our No. 1 concern is the safety of the students."