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1 dead, 2 seriously injured in highway rollover

ELBERTA, Utah County — One man was killed and two were seriously injured after an accident on state Route 68 Sunday morning.

Two vehicles — a 1993 Nissan Altima and a 2000 Toyota Avalon — made contact about 5:40 a.m. as one tried to pass the other while driving south on the highway about 10 miles north of Elberta, near Redwood Road on the west side of Utah Lake, according to Utah Highway Patrol trooper Cameron Roden.

Police are still determining the cause of the accident, Roden said. From what investigators could tell, the contact sent both vehicles off the west side of the road, Roden said.

The driver of the Altima, Delfino Morales, 30, of Payson, was ejected from the car as it rolled into a farm field and died from his injuries. The passenger in the Altima, Ernesto Ramos, of Payson, was seriously injured and transported to an area hospital by medical helicopter, Roden said. Police have not yet released Ramos' age.

Luis A. Barralaga, 61, of Payson, was also seriously injured when his Toyota rolled into the same field and entered the road again, landing right-side up and blocking the southbound lane on state Route 68, according to Roden. He was also taken by medical helicopter to an area hospital.

Police did not see any signs of alcohol use or excessive speeds, Roden said, and the cause of the accident is still being investigated. According to police, no one involved in the accident was wearing a seat belt.

Roden cautioned people to be careful while driving during the summer season.

"With the summertime coming on and speeds going up and people traveling, we've just seen so many fatalities over the last little bit. Just encourage people to really take their driving seriously, to avoid any distractions, please wear your seat belt and watch their speeds, just to help keep people safe this summer and not see these fatalities continue," he said.


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