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UHP: Gruesome I-80 auto-ped accident near Wendover

Published May 13, 2014 6:43 am

Fatality • Victim's identity, even gender, yet to be determined.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A gruesome auto-pedestrian fatal accident scene revealed itself to Utah Highway Patrol troopers as dawn broke Monday just inside the Utah-Nevada border.

UHP Sgt. Todd Royce said that was when work began to recover the remains of a person, traumatized beyond recognition after being struck and run over numerous times on westbound Interstate 80 about 1 mile east of Wendover.

By 9:30 a.m., the scattered remains had been collected and turned over to the Utah State Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.

Noting that it remained unclear even what gender the victim had been, Royce said it appeared the process of identifying the victim "could be a prolonged process."

A 911 call reporting a suspected animal carcass on the freeway came in about 3:30 a.m. When troopers arrived in the predawn darkness, however, they found human remains on the asphalt. The victim appeared to have been a pedestrian; no abandoned vehicles were found in the area.

The victim is believed to have been walking or standing in or near the westbound lanes of I-80 when hit. That stretch of road is known for regular semi-trailer rig traffic during the nighttime hours, which may prove a factor in the extensive injuries the victim sustained.

UHP closed all westbound lanes of I-80 at mile marker 1 for several hours while the body was recovered and investigation conducted. Traffic was detoured through Wendover before the freeway was reopened late Monday morning.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims