1 killed, 3 injured in Model T crash near Zion National Park

Published: Friday, July 26 2013 3:41 p.m. MDT

One person was killed, another three were injured after an antique car rolled over along state Route 9 in Washington County Friday, July 26, 2013. The car slowed down to let faster traffic pass them when its wheel dropped off the side of the road.

Utah Highway Patrol

SPRINGDALE, Washington County — A Minnesota woman was killed and three others injured Friday when their antique car crashed near Zion National Park.

The vehicle, a 1915 Model T Ford with Minnesota license plates, was on state Route 9 about 10:20 a.m. just outside the park entrance when the driver pulled off to the right side of the road to allow traffic that had built up behind to pass.

As the 19-year-old driver tried to get the old vehicle back onto the pavement, investigators believe he didn't negotiate the small dirt slope properly, and the added weight and stress on the tires caused the wooden spokes on the right front wheel to collapse, causing the vehicle to overturn.

"A modern car with the safety features ... it wouldn't have had any problem getting back on the road," said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. LaMar Heaton.

All four occupants of the vehicle were ejected. Paramedics worked on Keren Johnson, 51, of Minnesota, for an hour at the scene trying to revive her, Heaton said. But she was later pronounced dead.

Her husband was in another Model T ahead of her, said trooper Jalaine Hawkes. He learned of the accident after backtracking a short time later to find out where they were.

Three others were taken by ambulance to Kane County Hospital, including the driver, Johnson's son, and her 12-year-old granddaughter. Their conditions were not immediately known but their injuries were not believed to be life threatening, Hawkes said.

The group was part of a national Model T club that was meeting in Kanab. About 200 Model T owners were staying in Kanab this week, driving out each day to a different national park or sight-seeing area.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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