Three killed in Sunday Tooele County crash identified

Published: Monday, Feb. 17 2014 6:30 p.m. MST

The Utah Highway Patrol and emergency personnel investigate an accident that killed three people and critically injured others on state Route 36 near Tooele on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014. Three cars were involved, including a van carrying youth from a church group.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

TOOELE — Police have identified the three people killed in a fatal crash on state Route 36 Sunday.

Melodie Clement, 58, and Urban "James" Montoya, 61, both of Salt Lake City, were killed Sunday afternoon when their Subaru struck a minivan that had crossed into oncoming traffic, Utah Highway Patrol trooper Mark Thompson said. Donnett McCollin, 43, of Dugway, was also killed in the crash.

McCollin was riding in the passenger seat of the minivan when the vehicles collided.

The six other individuals in the minivan were injured in the crash, including five youths between 14 and 17 years old, who remained hospitalized Monday in serious condition, Thompson said. The adult driver of the Dodge Caravan — identified by UHP Lt. Cory Nye as McCollin's 44-year-old husband — is currently in critical condition.

The minivan was one of four vehicles en route to Salt Lake City for a Christian rock concert. The outing was sponsored by the non-denominational church group at the Dugway Hope Chapel, according to a news release from the Public Affairs Office at Dugway Proving Ground.

The minivan was northbound when it attempted to merge from the slow lane to the fast lane on state Route 36 near Stansbury Park and struck a sport utility vehicle around 3:15 p.m. The collision caused the minivan to lose control and slide into southbound traffic, where it was struck by the Subaru carrying Clement and Montoya, Thompson said.

It is believed the pair died on impact. The front passenger in the minivan was also killed while four of the five adolescent passengers were thrown from the vehicle.

Al Vogel, public affairs specialist at Dugway Proving Ground, said in the release that the proving ground's Army chaplain was providing support to those who were injured in the crash and are recovering at area hospitals.

"The Dugway Hope Chapel and community residents have provided food and assistance to the families of those that were injured," Vogel said. "Community members of DPG are gathering, as they wish, at the chapel to pray, seek solace and comfort each other."

Tooele County School District and Army Installation Management Command also offered up resources to help those in the community in the wake of the crash.

“This is a tragic event that touches many lives beyond those directly involved in the accident,” Col. Ronald Fizer, commander of Dugway Proving Ground, said. “Dugway Proving Ground is working together with others to provide support to those affected. We will keep all those involved in our thoughts and prayers.”

The incident led to the closure of state Route 36 for approximately five hours and remains under investigation.

Dugway Proving Ground is an Army post 85 miles southwest of Salt Lake City and is one of the most remote government postings in the lower 48 states, according to the news release. "Because of its remoteness in the desert, the community has forged strong ties among its residents and workers since DPG’s creation in 1942."

Its primary mission is testing defenses against chemical and biological warfare agents.

Email: emorgan@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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