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Two dead, two injured in fiery Wayne County crash
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

A fiery crash involving a Jeep Wrangler and two motorcycles claimed the lives of two people and injured two others in Wayne County on Thursday morning, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.

The 8:33 a.m. crash occurred about three miles east of Bicknell on State Road 24 when the driver of an eastbound Jeep lost control and collided with two westbound motorcycles, the UHP reported.

The Jeep, driven by a 17-year-old from nearby Loa, initially struck a Harley motorcycle driven by Michael Gelernter, 49, of Tuscon, Ariz., and pushed Gelernter's cycle off the road.

Gelernter was taken to Sevier Valley Medical Center in Richfield for treatment of undisclosed injuries.

The Jeep then struck and ran over the top of a Victory motorcycle ridden by two people. The motorcycle's gas tank ruptured and both the Jeep and motorcycle burst into flames, the UHP reported.

The driver of the Victory, Bill Mitchell, 64, and his passenger, Diane Mitchell, 64, both of Tuscon, Ariz., were killed.

The driver of the Jeep, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected. He also was taken to Sevier Valley Medical Center for treatment.

The UHP reported that the Mitchells and Gelernter were riding as a group with two other motorcycle riders. The other riders steered left into the eastbound lane to avoid colliding with the Jeep.

The teen lost control of the Jeep when it drifted left and he over-corrected to the right, the UHP reported.

The Jeep then ran off the right shoulder and struck a guardrail.

The teen then corrected back to the left,crossing the center line into the westbound lanes, where he collided with the motorcycles.

The cause of the crash remained under investigation Thursday evening. But excessive speed and driver impairment were not considered to have been contributing factors, the UHP reported.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Accident • Tuscon residents die when Jeep hits motorcycles; motorist, another biker injured.
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