A house fire and a rear-end collision were just two of the incidents that claimed the lives of at least five people around the state this week.
• In West Valley City, a crash on I-215 killed two people and shut down traffic for several hours Wednesday.
Around 12:30 p.m., a Honda Civic began to slow down and was rear-ended by a Chevy Impala as the vehicles traveled near 2300 South, said Utah Highway Patrol trooper Cameron Roden.
Jasmin Gomez-Deaquino, 19, and Edgar Nava Deaquino, 14, both of Salt Lake City, were riding in the back of the Honda and were killed. They were not wearing seat belts, Roden said.
The driver of the Honda was taken to Intermountain Medical Center in serious condition, and a front-seat passenger was flown to another hospital in critical condition, police said. The driver of the Impala suffered only minor injuries.
Police were still looking into what caused the crash. Roden said the Impala did not appear to be traveling faster than the speed limit, but the driver did not slow down before impact.
The crash caused I-215 northbound to close, stopping the flow of traffic between 4700 South and State Route 201. Yet, after the accident site was cleared, only two lanes were opened.
High temperatures and heat radiating from stalled automobiles made asphalt fillings in potholes "gum-like," and as cars began to pull away, the potholes were re-exposed, said Adan Carrillo, public information officer for the Utah Department of Transportation.
UDOT maintained the flow of traffic at two lanes following the accident so crews could refill the holes and prevent damage to the roadway.
• In Cottonwood Heights, a two-alarm house fire killed one person Wednesday afternoon. Officials said the blaze appeared to be suspicious.
Flames already had swept through the main floor of the rambler at 2938 E. Bridgewater Drive (7550 South) when firefighters arrived around 3:30 p.m., said Unified Fire Authority Capt. Jay Fearnley.
A body was found in the kitchen of the home near the back door, Fearnley said. Flames had so badly burned the body that officials were not able to identify the victim, he said.
"It's definitely suspicious," Fearnley said. "But it's still under investigation."
The home was a total loss, with damages exceeding $250,000, he said.
• In Woods Cross, a man was crushed to death after a mobile home slid off a set of jacks, pinning him.
The accident happened Tuesday afternoon at a mobile home park near 500 South and 1300 West. The 43-year-old victim and two co-workers were moving the prefabricated home into place, police said.
"Officers arrived to find the mobile home that slid off the jacks. We tried to get the mobile home off of him," said Woods Cross Police Sgt. Ekolu Delos Santos.
The man was extricated from underneath the 30,000-pound home, and paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive him. Federal occupational safety investigators have been called in to investigate the death.
• And in Green River, search and rescue teams recovered the body of a 62-year-old Massachusetts man who apparently fell off a cliff while taking pictures.
Emery County sheriff's deputies said Douglas Fisher was kayaking on the Green River. He set out on the river on June 6 and was supposed to get out at the confluence of the Colorado River on June 16. The National Park Service began an air search the next day.
Search boats found Fisher's kayak and camping equipment at Bull Hollow, about 35 miles south of Green River. On Tuesday, Fisher's body was spotted in a canyon about a half-mile away.
"It appeared the subject had been deceased for several days," Sheriff Lamar Guymon said in a statement Wednesday. "It also appeared that the subject had fallen from a cliff while taking pictures."