ALL NEWS

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 plane is parked at Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City....

Allessandra Harris Gurr

Friday’s Microsoft outage canceled 70 flights at Salt Lake International

Friday's Microsoft outage caused delays in industries across the world, including flight cancellations at Salt Lake International Airport.

46 minutes ago

CrowdStrike said the tech disruption that halted flights and left several businesses in disarray, s...

Eric Cabrera

CrowdStrike blames “faulty update” for widespread tech disruption, denies cyber attack

CrowdStrike said the tech disruption that halted flights and left several businesses in disarray, said it was a faulty update to blame.

1 hour ago

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill talks to members of the media on March 31, 2023. The Ut...

Daniel Woodruff, KSL TV

Utah House speaker calls for district attorney’s resignation over Trump post

The Utah House speaker is calling on the SLC district attorney to resign over his social media post about former President Donald Trump.

5 hours ago

Johnathan Aubrey, a Utah man with cerebral palsy, reads from his recently published children's book...

Emma Everett Johnson, KSL.com

Utah man with cerebral palsy publishes children’s book

Aubrey has cerebral palsy, and wants "all kids to know that we can gain freedom and greater happiness just by accomplishing hard things."

6 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden listens as Vice President Kamala Harris speaks in the Rose Garden of the...

Emma Keddington

Understanding the ‘uncharted territory’ of Biden’s decision to drop out of the race

What's next for Kamala Harris and the Democratic party following the decision President Biden made to drop out of the race?

7 hours ago

The Sandhurst Fire burns above Ensign Peak north of Salt Lake City on Saturday, July 20, 2024....

KIERSTEN NUNEZ, KSLTV.com

Challenging, exhausting 24 hours for residents evacuated near the Sandhurst Fire

40 homes are still under evacuation order Sunday night as crews continue to fight the Sandhurst fire near Ensign Peak.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

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