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Four women dead in Sevier County crash

Published June 22, 2013 5:11 pm

Accident • The driver, who survived, was the only one wearing a seat belt, the Utah Highway Patrol reported.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Four family members — all from California and Mexico — died Saturday morning in a rollover after investigators say the driver may have fallen asleep.

Ezequiel Vasquez, 48, of Hawthorne, Calif., was driving east on Interstate 70 when it appears he may have fallen asleep just before 5 a.m., said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Mary Kaye Lucas. He failed to negotiate a turn near mile post 53, just east of Salina, and the four-door pickup rolled one and a half times.

The four passengers — his daughter, his mother and two aunts — were not wearing seat belts and were ejected from the truck, Lucas said. Two died at the scene and the other two died later at a hospital.

Vasquez was wearing a seat belt and suffered minor injuries, Lucas said.

The victims were listed as Jasmine Vasquez, 21, of Hawthorne, Calif., who was Vasquez's daughter; Virginia Gonzales Hernandez, 79, of Guadalajara, Mexico; Paula Espinoza, 63, of Guadalajara; and Anita Maria Vasquez, age unknown, of Guadalajara.

Lucas could not confirm which woman was Vasquez's mother and which two were his aunts.

The group had been on their way from California to Colorado.

mmcfall@sltrib.comTwitter: @mikeypanda