UHP: Dental records needed to I.D. victim in fiery crash
The Utah State Medical Examiner's Office has confirmed that the person killed in a fiery crash Wednesday on eastbound Interstate 215 in Murray was a woman.
However, Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Lawrence Hopper said Thursday that while the victim's gender has been determined by an autopsy, her identity remained unconfirmed.
UHP has a possible identity, based in part on the victim's four-door Pontiac sedan having been licensed and registered out of Rock Springs, Wyo., but the victim's body was so badly burned that positive identification was not immediately possible.
"The autopsy determined the victim was a female, but we will have to wait for dental records to determine her identity," Hopper said, adding that it could take up to two weeks for forensic scientists to receive and process those records.
The accident occurred about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday when the driver, eastbound on I-215 near 100 West, veered left into the dirt median and then wedged between the concrete barriers separating the freeway's eastbound and westbound lanes. The car burst into flames on impact with a concrete pillar.
Passers-by, some with small car fire extinguishers and containers of water, tried to douse the flames and rescue the driver but were turned back by intense heat and flames.
By the time firefighters and emergency workers arrived, the car was fully engulfed. Smoke and flames blackened the facing on a TRAX light-rail overpass above the crash scene but did not damage the tracks.
Hopper said it still had not been determined for certain whether the victim died on impact or in the subsequent fire.