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FILE - A car crashed into the Eagle Gate Monument in downtown Salt Lake early Saturday morning, causing critical injuries to the driver.

SALT LAKE CITY — A car crashed into the Eagle Gate Monument in downtown Salt Lake early Saturday morning, causing critical injuries to the driver.

The crash at the intersection of State Street and South Temple occurred following what investigators believe was a street race between likely two or three vehicles a few minutes after 1 a.m., said Salt Lake City Police Lt. Mark Buhman.

The driver of the car that crashed into the monument, whose identifying information was not released, was taken to a hospital by ambulance and later reported to be in critical but stable condition, according to Buhman.

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The lieutenant said one of the bases of the monument sustained some gouging, but the monument is still considered to be structurally secure.

At least two vehicles believed to be racing were northbound on State Street when the vehicle that ended up crashing clipped one of the other cars involved, causing it to lose control, Buhman said. The cars came into contact because the driver of the crashed vehicle failed to successfully navigate a lane merge, he said.

The driver of the vehicle that was clipped stayed on scene and spoke with police, according to Buhman.