A van carrying seven children, all of them unrestrained, rolled on state Route 201 Monday, ejecting numerous people and sending two children to the hospital in critical condition.

About 1:30 p.m. a woman driving west on S.R. 201 lost control of her vehicle, possibly because of a blown tire, said Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Shawn Judd. The van swerved into the gravel median, crossed two lanes of traffic, then rolled off the right shoulder and through a chain-link fence bordering a frontage road near 4800 West.

"It was a cargo van," Judd said. "There were no factory-installed seats."

The children apparently sat in lawn chairs, which were thrown onto the road during the wreck, along with the passengers. None of the seven children in back, ranging in age from 1 to 15, was wearing a seat belt. A child car seat was among the items thrown from the van.

A total of nine people were in the van, including the adult female driver, a person in the passenger seat and the seven children in back.

Suzanne Musgrow was traveling on the frontage road when the van rolled right in front of her, landing on its roof.

"It just lost control," she said. "Kids were just thrown all over the road. They were bleeding from their heads."

Marco Montes came up on the accident shortly after it happened. He tried to comfort a 7-year-old boy who seemed to be injured the worst.

"He kept saying, 'I'm going to die.' He kept calling for his mom," Montes said.

Montes stayed with the boy and tried to reassure him that he would be OK and that his ability to talk was a sign he wouldn't die.

That boy was flown by medical helicopter to a local hospital with head trauma. Another young child, whose exact age was unknown Monday afternoon, was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Judd said all the other children were also taken to local hospitals to be checked, but their injuries appeared to be less serious.

Judd said everyone was very fortunate to be alive.

"This is a worst-case scenario," he said of the van full of children and no seats.

Authorities believed all of the children are related. Investigators Monday afternoon were examining the van's rear left tire, which appeared to be shredded.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com