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2 New Year’s Eve accidents blamed on drunken driving

SHARE 2 New Year’s Eve accidents blamed on drunken driving

Two of the four New Year's Eve automobile accidents on the stretch of I-15 between Pleasant Grove and Provo were caused by intoxicated drivers, police said.

Law officials spent the first hours of 1998 rushing to accidents, calling for medical assistance and arresting drivers for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.There were no fatalities, said Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Verdi White II.

The Highway Patrol reported that two people were injured in a 3:30 a.m. accident on the winding roads from the interstate to Center Street in Provo.

Police suspect that the driver, Anna Bastian, 19, who was later arrested for investigation of driving under the influence, overcorrected a turn, causing the car to roll twice.

Passenger Risa Gran, 19, was thrown out of the car, suffering injuries to her head, neck and upper torso. The Provo resident was sitting in the back seat behind the driver.

Two other passengers received scratches and bruises. None was wearing seat belts, police said.

Bastian and Gran were taken to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, where Bastian was treated and later released. Gran was in satisfactory condition Thursday.

Trooper Brett Christensen was called to a 5:10 a.m. accident near 1000 South in Orem.

Police believe the car rolled three times after the driver, Shelby Byrnes, swerved into another lane and overcorrected.

Passenger Clifton Chatwain, 19, Orem, was not wearing his seat belt and was ejected. He was taken to UVRMC for treatment for a broken collarbone and internal injuries, Christensen said.

Chatwain is in critical but stable condition, said Anton Garrity, hospital spokesman.

Byrnes, 19, Pleasant Grove, was arrested for investigation of drunken driving. He was treated at the hospital and released.

The other incidents happened shortly after 1 a.m. Two people from an accident near Lindon were taken to American Fork Hospital and are in stable condition, nurses said.

One tired dispatcher said Thursday that the night was filled with radio calls of "10-55s," the police code for driving under the influence. A tally of the night's DUI arrests in Utah County was not avail-able Thursday morning.

"There were a lot of drunken people on the road," she said. "Juveniles and alcohol, adults and alcohol, all night long."