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Fiery crash claims driver's life on I-215

Published May 30, 2012 11:06 am

Accident • Vehicle hit freeway pillar; victim not identified.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A fiery crash early Wednesday morning on a Murray stretch of Interstate 215 claimed the driver's life.

Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Lawrence Hopper said the victim, whose remains had to be cut out of the charred wreckage of the car, had not been identified.

"The body was so badly burned that at this point we don't even know for sure if it was a male or female," Hopper said, though he confirmed that the late model, four-door Pontiac sedan was licensed and registered to a woman from Rock Springs, Wyo.

"The state Medical Examiner's Office will be doing an autopsy to determine what they can about the victim [but] they may have to use dental records" to get an identity, Hopper added.

The accident occurred about 2:30 a.m. 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.

Hopper said passersby tried to 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 was too early to tell if the victim died on impact, or in the subsequent fire.

The crash remained under investigation.

remims@sltrib.com