HEBER CITY — Officials have identified of one of the six victims in a deadly collision between a dump truck and a pickup on U.S. 40 Friday afternoon.
Efrain Cardenas, 62, of Salt Lake City, was driving the pickup truck eastbound on U.S. 40 with five other men when a westbound dump truck crossed the median and barrier just before noon near Jordanelle Reservoir in Wasatch County, the Utah Highway Patrol said.
Names of the other victims have not been released as the medical examiner's office is still working to identify the bodies and notify next of kin, which Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Lawrence Hopper said has been difficult as some of the men are not local.
Court records identify the man driving the dump truck as Jamie McKenzie, 41. He was treated for injuries then booked into the Wasatch County Jail Friday night for investigation of six counts of vehicular homicide, two counts of driving under the influence causing serious injury as well as open container, reckless driving and speeding violations.
Utah Highway Patrol troopers reported they found open containers of alcohol and prescription pills in McKenzie's vehicle.
McKenzie refused to submit to a blood alcohol test, according to jail booking documents, so the UHP got a search warrant to draw his blood.
According to the probable cause statement, McKenzie said knew he had been in a crash, but he did not remember details. Officers could smell alcohol on his breath, but he denied drinking any that day, the documents say.
"I asked him about the open containers of alcohol in the truck we found and he said they were in his lunch box but he hadn’t had lunch today," the statement reads.
A woman who was lucky to survive the accident when the Jeep she was riding in rolled after being clipped by the dump truck, says she can't imagine how the families of the victims are coping.
"It's unfair. Like, I get to wake up and my family is totally fine. I'm fine and my mom is fine. They're all waking up with one less family member," said Dallas McCullough, 19, of Salt Lake City.
Her mother was driving a Jeep Rubicon in front of the pickup on the highway. The back of their car was clipped by the dump truck, sending them rolling four times into a ditch. McCullough fractured her hand, and her mom suffered a broken nose.2 comments on this story
Police say they received reports of a recklessly driven dump truck prior to the accident.
McCullough saw the dump truck coming their way before the crash.
"I watched him all the way from the median, all the way to our car and I just closed my eyes,” she said.
She also expressed anger that, according to crash investigators, the dump truck driver may have been intoxicated.
"I mean, you just took six people off this Earth because you were that selfish and that reckless,” she said. "Gosh, it's horrible. There are no words."
Contributing: Alex Cabrero