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Victims identified in 2 fatal Utah crashes; 4 people still critical

WELLSVILLE, Cache County — Authorities have released the names of two people killed Monday in separate crashes in Cache and Salt Lake counties.

Robert L. Smith, 54, of Wellsville, was killed instantly in a multicar accident on the Cache County side of Sardine Canyon about 5:15 p.m. Two teens remained hospitalized Tuesday in extremely critical condition as a result of the crash.

Charlette A. Kirk, 55, of Salt Lake City, was also killed about an hour later when the pickup truck she was driving was T-boned by another pickup truck at the intersection of 6200 South and Redwood Road in Taylorsville. Two other people in the crash were hospitalized in critical condition.

The crash that killed Smith occurred when a Ryder moving truck heading south on U.S. 89 near the mouth of the canyon crossed into the northbound lane and slammed head-on into Smith's yellow Saturn and a black Audi, said Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Lee Perry. Another car traveling behind the Saturn and the Audi collided with Smith's car following the initial crash.

The two 17-year-old boys in the Audi, Robert Watson of Garland and Michael B. Higley of Tremonton, were listed in extremely critical condition. UHP trooper Cameron Roden described the teens' condition Tuesday as "touch and go."

Two other people involved in the crash, including the driver of the Ryder truck, were taken to Logan Regional Hospital in fair condition.

Troopers said it appears that everyone involved in the crash was wearing their seat belts. The cause of the crash remains under investigation, Roden said, and could take several weeks while troopers await the results of toxicology tests.

The crash that killed Kirk was called in to dispatchers about 6:10 p.m. Police said after Kirk's blue pickup truck was hit by a gray pickup truck, it spun out of control into the south part of the intersection. The gray pickup then careened west and struck a building at the southwest corner of the intersection, said Taylorsville police detective Shannon Bennett.

A passenger in the blue truck was taken to Intermountain Medical Center in critical condition, and the driver of the gray truck was also transported in critical condition.

Bennett said investigators don't know how fast the trucks were traveling, if any of the victims were wearing seat belts or who had the right of way at the time of the crash. The Unified Police Department's Major Accident Team is assisting Taylorsville police with their investigation, which is ongoing.

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