The Fourth of July weekend is one of the most dangerous driving weekends in the U.S., with millions of motorists hitting the nation's highways - and many of them not entirely sober. This danger was viscerally illustrated this weekend by a deadly car crash in a remote part of Utah.
The crash, as reported by the Salt Lake Tribune, took the lives of five people Sunday afternoon. Two others are still in critical condition following the accident.
The accident occurred at around 2:30 pm on Sunday on U.S. Highway 191 just north of Monticello, Utah. A van carrying five people reportedly attempted to pass another car and crashed head-on into a sports car coming down the other lane. The two people riding in the sports car died, as did three of the people in the van. The van's two other passengers have not died, but are in critical condition.
The Utah Highway Patrol closed both lanes of traffic on U.S. 191 following the accident.
SR 191 closed both directions at mm 81 due to serious crash. More details coming
— Utah Highway Patrol (@UTHighwayPatrol) July 6, 2014
This tragedy marks the second deadly highway accident to occur in Utah over the Fourth of July weekend. On July 4 a woman and two children died in a similar car crash in Tooele County, Utah. According to a Salt Lake Tribune report, the family's SUV collided with a truck driving in the wrong lane of Interstate 80 on Friday evening. The woman's husband and the driver of the truck were in serious condition as of Saturday.
Before the Fourth of July weekend the Utah Highway Patrol had announced via its website that troopers would be out in full force throughout the summer. The organization's goal for the summer driving season is "proactive policing," which includes troopers "doing all they can to gain voluntary compliance through education and enforcement."
Image via Facebook/Utah Highway Patrol