Kamas woman survives crash
January 10, 2007
Kamas resident Jack Mitchell recalled screaming to revive his grandchildren, who were knocked unconscious, after a nearly head-on traffic crash last week on S.R. 248 east of Park City.
"I took two deep breaths to fill my lungs because the air bag and my belt caused me to lose my air, but I swear by the safety belts and I swear by the air bags," Mitchell said.
Marion resident Kristy Peterson, the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident, looked dead, he said.
"You could walk right in the side of her van and stand right underneath the roof of the van as if you were in a shed," said Mitchell, who is 67 years old. "My car drove the right side of the van within 15 inches of the left side. If there were any children in the back, they would have not lived through it."
Peterson, 33, was recovering Tuesday after she was transported via ambulance in critical condition to University Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Her husband, Chad Peterson, said his wife spoke Monday for the first time since the accident, adding, "She had a great day."
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"She is doing really well," he said, adding, though, "She is in a lot of pain."
Kristy Peterson, whose pelvis is broken in about five places, may need to undergo neck surgery, but her injuries no longer are life threatening.
"She is expected to fully recover," her husband said. "We’re just going to let her sit and start to heal."
Peterson bled for nearly three hours before she underwent surgery last Thursday.
"It was touch-and-go for about a day and a half," 35-year-old Chad Peterson said. "She received about nine units of blood."
He teaches mathematics and coaches basketball at South Summit High School, while his wife raises the couple’s four children.
Utah Highway Patrol troopers say after Peterson’s Dodge Caravan crossed the highway median near Brown’s Canyon Road while driving toward Kamas Jan. 4 at 1:15 p.m. she was struck by Mitchell’s Cadillac Deville.
"[Peterson] came off the top of [the hill] about a mile above where you turn into Todd Hollow Apartments, she lost control and came sliding over," Mitchell said while recounting the accident. "I went all the way to the right as far as I could and I still couldn’t avoid her. I went head-on into the side of her."
The four people involved in the crash were wearing seat belts, troopers say.
"The slush on the road hadn’t been pushed," Mitchell said. "The back tires got onto the slush and her front ones were on the tracks and it caused the back end to start to move forward."
With Mitchell in the Cadillac were his 20-year-old grandson, Jeff Carn and Carn’s wife, 17-year-old Carly Carn, who prematurely delivered a baby after the crash.
"It forced labor onto her," Mitchell said, adding that his new 3-pound great-grandson was born two months early. "The baby’s doing fine. His nickname is ‘Crash.’"
The impact of the accident knocked Peterson and both passengers unconscious but the young couple weren’t seriously injured.
Peterson, however, suffered broken bones, neck and back injuries and injured several internal organs.
"I couldn’t do anything because my arm was bleeding pretty bad," said Mitchell, who received several stitches in his right hand.