ANETH, San Juan County — Seven people are dead after two cars collided on the Navajo Indian Reservation early Sunday morning in the southeastern corner of Utah.

Killed were:

Calvert Weston, 28, Shiprock, N.M.

Ivane Lewis, 16, Cortez, Colo.

Alvina Kiva Wilson, 20, Cortez, Colo.

Gene Dale Etsitty, 33, Bluff, Utah

Vern Little, 25, Montezuma Creek, Utah

Melissa Weston, 29, Farmington, N.M.

Another female, who was driving one of the two cars, also died but she had not been identified as of late Monday morning, according to Lt. Ivan Tsosie with Navajo Department of Criminal Investigations.

Alcohol is suspected to have contributed to the 4 a.m. accident that claimed the lives of the four men and three women on U-262, Tsosie said.

"The investigators indicated they found a lot of liquor, sealed and unsealed bottles of beer in and around the vehicles," Tsosie said.

Tsosie called the accident the worst he had seen in his 15 years with the Navajo Department of Criminal Investigations. A two-car crash claimed four lives on Navajo Indian Reservation land near Rockpoint, Ariz., just south of the Utah border, in May, Tsosie said.

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Sunday's crash happened about one mile west of Aneth as two cars left a party for Calvert Weston, who celebrated his 28th birthday Saturday

As both cars traveled west toward Montezuma Creek, the driver of the first vehicle lost control, veered off the north side of the road, then back across the shoulder on the south side, Tsosie said. The driver then gunned the engine and accelerated back onto the road, where he was broadsided on the passenger side by the second car, Tsosie said.

Both cars flipped, then slid to a stop, Tsosie said, adding that investigators believe the five people in the first car and two people in the second car all were killed instantly.


E-MAIL: djensen@desnews.com

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