Driver who caused five-car crash may have been under the influence

Published: Saturday, Oct. 20 2012 1:44 p.m. MDT

The driver of this Pontiac sedan suffered critical injuries Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, after the car was hit head on by the driver of a sport-utility vehicle on U.S. Highway 40 near Fort Duchesne, Uintah County. Investigators suspect the driver of the SUV, who touched off the five-car crash, was driving under the influence of alcohol.

Geoff Liesik, Deseret News

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FORT DUCHESNE, Uintah County — Investigators suspect a driver who touched off a five-car crash Friday night that critically injured one person may have been driving under the influence of alcohol.

The crash on U.S. Highway 40 occurred about 6:30 p.m., shortly after a motorist called Central Dispatch to report a reckless driver in the area, said Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Matt Pratt.

Before authorities could locate the reckless driver, the 27-year-old Roosevelt man crossed into oncoming traffic. His sport-utility vehicle sideswiped a pickup truck and then crashed head on with a sedan, Pratt said.

A driver behind the sedan hit the brakes and was rear-ended by another driver.

The driver of the sedan involved in the head-on crash had to be extricated from his vehicle. He was flown from the scene by medical helicopter to hospital on the Wasatch Front.

Troopers booked the driver of the SUV into the Uintah County Jail for investigation of DUI and reckless driving.

The crash closed Highway 40 in both directions for two hours.

Geoff Liesik Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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