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Blanding couple dies in head-on car crash

Published August 2, 2011 1:28 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Police are investigating a Monday night crash in San Juan County that left two people dead.

Driver Maria Erva Eaton, 84, and passenger John Eaton, 89, both from Blanding, died in the accident.

Utah Highway Patrol said the couple were northbound up a hill in their Buick on State Road 191 just north of Blanding at about 6:20 p.m. when a small moving truck crossed the center line and struck the Buick nearly head on, even though the driver of the Buick steered to the right to try to avoid the crash, UHP said.

Both Maria and John Eaton were wearing seat belts, UHP said. The truck driver, Leah Lynne Shelton, 28, from Grand Junction, Colo., suffered minor injuries. She was wearing a seat belt.

Two other passengers were in the truck. A 5-year-old girl, who not wearing a seat belt, was transported to a hospital with serious injuries. A 6-year-old, who was wearing a seat belt, suffered no injuries, the UHP said.