Tragedy hits Utah State University in midst of Agriculture Week
Posted: April 17, 2008 10:21 AM
TREMONTON, Utah- A terrible tragedy hit Utah State University as a van carrying eleven passengers rolled on Interstate 84 west of Tremonton, at around 4 p.m. Only two of the passengers- Robert Peterseon and Jared Nelson- have been confirmed to have survived.
Five other names of those who have deceased were releaed- instructor Evan Parker, who was the driver; Steven Bair; Curt Madsen; and Brad Wilcox.
The group had been returning from a field trip to Green Line Implements as part of Agriculture Week at the University.
Several of the members were taken to Brigham City Hospital, while another was taken to Ogden Hosptial, according to Utah Highway Patrol trooper Jason Jensen. Jensen, who arrived on the scene at around 4 pm. and worked on three people at the scene of the accident, also estimated that the van was traveling 95-100 miles per hour on roads that may have deteriorated a bit due to the layer of salt and sand that had been laid on the cement to help prevent ice slippage.
(It was) a clear day, no storms happening," Jensen said. "It was a horrific scene." Jensen added that in fifteen years of working for Utah Highway Patrol, this crash was by far the worst event he has ever been involved with.
Kyle Holden was a host of the field trip at Green Line, where he works. Estimated to have been traveling at "79-ish" miles per hour on cruise control, Holden said that he was passing the van and glanced at Parker when the wheel on the driver’s side rear mirror blew.
"I turned and watched, and I saw people flying. They were just shot out of the van. They probably rolled four or five times," Holden said.
"This was an exceptional group of students. The fact that we’ve pulled in 20 or 30 really quality students this year… that I can look at this year as one of the highest years in potential of the students. This is a hard day not just for the university, but for the college of agriculture," said Noel Cockett, Dean of the College of Agriculture.
Holden had also been a former student of Parkers’ 15 years ago.