Crash kills man near Rockport
Troopers still aren’t sure who was driving a Ford F-250 pickup truck Saturday when the vehicle veered off the road near Rockport State Park nearly crashing into the reservoir near Wanship.
Killed in the crash was 33-year-old Marc Spencer Reed of Summit County, who investigators say died at the scene after suffering severe head trauma while being ejected from the truck onto a rocky hillside.
Riding with Reed at the time were North Summit residents Susan D. Gillard, 24, and 38-year-old Anthony Bonner.
Having reportedly suffered back and leg injuries in the collision, Gillard was flown from the scene in a helicopter while Bonner was transported via ambulance to LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City with head injuries.
According to a hospital spokesman, Gillard remained in an intensive care unit while Bonner was discharged from the hospital Tuesday.
When officers arrived, the crash survivors had extricated themselves from the truck, which reportedly rolled over as it plummeted from a steep slope near State Road 32.
"They did go airborne for probably 30 or 50 feet," Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Doug Devenish said. "It’s almost like a cliff."
After landing on a flat part of the hill the vehicle fell farther, he said, adding that the truck came to rest about 100 feet from the water.
For passersby, "it may have looked like they were in the water," Devenish said, adding that Reed wasn’t likely seat-belted at the time of the crash.
"We suspect the guy who died was driving," he said.
The crash, which wasn’t cleaned up for about four hours, occurred Dec. 23 around 9:10 p.m. when after veering into the right shoulder, the driver of the truck swerved back onto the road and crossed the double yellow line into oncoming traffic, according to Brian Hyer, public information officer for the Utah Department of Public Safety.
After crashing through the guardrail, the vehicle came to rest on its top roughly 175 feet from the edge of the highway, according to Hyer.
"Alcohol was a factor," he said adding that excessive speed likely made the injuries more severe.
Gillard told troopers she helped Bonner exit the smashed truck, Devenish said, adding, "There are still some unknowns."
The crash is under investigation as troopers consider filing charges.
"We don’t have this happen that much," Devenish said, acknowledging that each year motorists veer off the hillside near Rockport. "We have one or two a year where they either go into the lake or they go off the road."
Reed, a regular at Bunny’s bar in Coalville who moved to North Summit about a year ago, recently moved to Brown’s Canyon, said Leslie Bird, a bartender at Bunny’s.
"[Reed] had just bought a new house," she tearfully said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "He was a good, good man."
Known for his talent for shooting pool, Reed loved to fish and be in the outdoors, Bird said.
"He was a really loved, loved person here in Coalville and he will be very missed," she said, adding that Reed’s dog Duke also died in the crash. "They’re together and it was the way it was meant to be."
A group of Reed’s friends will travel this week from Coalville to his funeral in Idaho, Bird said.
"We just want his family to know that he was cared for and loved," she added.
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Summit County heard from the Park City Community Foundation that the county’s $1 million grant last year likely helped hundreds of people avoid homelessness. The nonprofit’s representatives said open lines of communication were key to ensuring that grant money went where it was needed. | Courtesy of the Park City Community Foundation