Wreck kills three on I-80
November 29, 2006
A man who moved to Park City for the ski season apparently drove his car the wrong way on Interstate 80 west of Salt Lake City Saturday, slamming into another car, killing three people and injuring another in the other vehicle, the authorities report.
Randy Akers, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety, says Jeffery Harrison, 22, was driving a 1994 Chevrolet pickup truck westbound in an eastbound lane on the interstate near the Knolls exit between Tooele and Wendover, about 30 miles east of Wendover.
He struck a 1995 Pontiac Bonneville carrying four people at 3:41 a.m.
( Vakataha Mila, the driver, from West Valley City. Mila was 43. Mila was wearing a seatbelt.
( Valentine Kioa, who was in the back seat. Kioa was 50 and from Salt Lake City. Kioa was not wearing a seatbelt.
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( Sosaio Fehoko, who was 69 years old and from Salt Lake City. Fehoko was not wearing a seatbelt.
Saiala Mila, who is 30 years old and from West Valley City, was injured in the Bonneville and taken by medical helicopter to LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City. Saiala Mila suffered serious injuries but they are not considered life threatening, Akers says. The authorities are unsure if Saiala Mila was wearing a seatbelt.
A medical helicopter took Harrison to the University of Utah Hospital, where he was critical but stable, Akers says. The authorities did not release details about his injuries. Akers says Harrison was initially not expected to live. Harrison was alone in the car.
Akers says speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors. The investigators, though, found a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in Harrison’s pickup truck, he says.
Akers says the authorities are considering charges against Harrison and they could range from vehicular homicide to improper lane travel.
The conditions were clear and dry when the crash occurred, Akers reports. The eastbound lanes of the interstate were closed from 3:45 a.m. until 6 a.m. The authorities say that the closest point to the crash that Harrison could have driven onto the eastbound lanes was 11 miles from the crash site.
"We’re really not sure how he got over there," Akers says.
Telephone directories do not list a number for Harrison in Park City.
No charges had been filed by Tuesday morning.