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UHP struggling to identify 2

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Law enforcement officials are having a difficult time identifying two members of a Tahitian family who were killed in an accident on U.S. 89 in Kane County about 25 miles north of Page, Ariz., Thursday afternoon.

A small Toyota pick-up truck and an Isuzu Rodeo collided head-on near Paria at about 2 p.m., killing the driver of the Toyota, 19-year-old Lasha Ann Gale of Tempe, Ariz., on impact. Trooper Jim Keller of the Utah Highway Patrol said the vehicles caught fire, killing two of the Tahitian family members, an adult male and an adult female. The other two, a 10-year-old boy and an adult female, were pulled from the vehicle by passersby. UHP Sgt. Doug McCleve said the passersby tried to remove the other adult female from the vehicle as well but were unsuccessful.

The 10-year-old boy and surviving adult female were taken to a hospital in Flagstaff, where they remain.

Keller said the truck strayed left of the center into the oncoming lane, causing the collision.

Keller said he has had a hard time reaching the French consulate and has been trying to contact authorities in Tahiti to try to identify the victims and notify next of kin.

UHP likes to make sure family members are notified in person by authorities when a relative has died in an accident, McCleve said. He said they often deal with agencies in other states and occasionally in other countries to make these notifications.