UHP trying to put all the pieces together in deadly sandstorm pile-up

Jul 27, 2021, 2:03 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 12:09 pm

sandstorm pile-up...

Pile-up crash due to a sandstorm in Millard County over the weekend. (Chelsie Rios)

(Chelsie Rios)

KANOSH, Utah– The families of eight people who died as a result of a sandstorm that caused a massive vehicle pile-up on I-15 in Millard County over the weekend are now making funeral plans while Utah Highway Patrol works to figure out how the deadly accident occurred. 

Investigators are trying to put together the pieces leading up to the pile-up crash. Right now, authorities believe there was one crash blocking the roadway, then several other crashes happened behind it. But the worst accident sparked when a semi-truck stopped, prompting many vehicles to rear-end the semi.  

Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Cameron Roden told the Dave and Dujanovic Show they don’t have the entire puzzle put together yet.


“We are still looking into what people did that played a part in this crash,” said UHP Sgt Cameron Roden on KSL’s Dave and Dujanovic Show. “With low visibility like that, and what people experienced there, was a very very dangerous situation. Not being able to see what’s in front of you, any hazards that may be there, like a crash in front of you, and are driving right into it.”

Roden says troopers think there were some drivers who may have kept driving or exited the freeway, so there may be even more vehicles involved.

He asked those drivers or passengers to contact the Nephi office of the Highway Patrol.

“With the size and scope of that scene, officers still are looking and trying to put all the pieces together as far as what actually happened first,” added Roden. “And we are not even sure we have all the vehicles who were involved in the crash.”

Families of victims sort through grief 

While troopers attempt to untangle the crash, the families of the crash victims are working through their heartbreak.

“My initial reaction was just shock. That it can just happen so fast, and it’s so final,” Shannon Mortensen, who lost five relatives traveling together in one vehicle, told KSL-TV. “A big sandstorm kind of just swept across I-15.”

Mortensen recounted the family was driving home from a family reunion at Bear Lake. The victims include her brother and his son, and another brother’s wife and two children.

“My brother, Race, is the most entertaining person to be around  always silly, always teasing you, always keeping things fun,” Mortensen acknowledged. “And Kortni is just the best mom that I know, just great with her kids and always a joy to be around. She’s never upset or in a bad mood, just always lifts everybody up around her.”

Another child from the SUV was reportedly released from the hospital.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

a sandy police car, there was a shooting at a sandy senior living center...

Devin Oldroyd

One dead after officer-involved shooting at Sandy senior living facility

A person is dead after a shooting involving a U.S. Marshalls task force at a Sandy senior living community Friday.

36 seconds ago

are you doom spending?...

Curt Gresseth

Are you ‘doom spending’?

What is doom spending? A KSL NewsRadio producer describes her experience with — and motivation for — reckless buying.

26 minutes ago

FILE - U.S. Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., holds a miniature American flag that was presented to him a...

By Gregory Krieg, CNN

The race is already on for Santos’ New York seat as Hochul prepares to announce special election date

George Santos is gone from Congress, but his disastrous tenure will not be forgotten by party leaders as they prepare for what is expected to be a fiercely contested and expensive special election to replace him.

1 hour ago

two buck deer shown, deer elk and moose are at risk for chronic wasting disease in utah...

Hugo Rikard-Bell and Sam Herrera

26 cases of chronic wasting disease found in Utah since July

he Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says chronic wasting disease was first detected in Utah in 2002. It affects deer, elk and moose.

1 hour ago

a cart full of toys for operation santa's stash...

Karah Brackin

Dozens of Utah companies aim to bring Santa to thousands of families with Operation: Santa’s Stash

Flipping the calendar into December and the holiday season, finding ways to give and be a blessing to someone else is top of mind.

2 hours ago

a caricature of steve salles is shown next to a godzilla minus one movie posted...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show Review: ‘Godzilla Minus One’ might be the best ‘Zilla movie

Say goodbye to the man in a rubber suit playing Godzilla. Godzilla Minus One gives us a terrifyingly improved version of this classic movie monster.

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

UHP trying to put all the pieces together in deadly sandstorm pile-up