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Freeway construction workers injured by intoxicated driver, UHP says

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CLEARFIELD — Three freeway workers suffered minor injuries after an allegedly impaired woman drove into them in a construction zone on I-15 early Tuesday.

Kolopa Akanesi Kulitea, 32, was arrested for investigation of four counts of DUI, marijuana possession and failing to stay in her lane.

About 3:30 a.m., Kulitea drove her pickup truck into an area closed to traffic due to construction near 650 North in Clearfield, according to a police affidavit, “striking barrels before hitting three construction workers that were actively working in the construction zone.”

All three workers were taken to a local hospital. Their injuries were not considered life-threatening.

The pickup came to stop when it hit the rear of a Hyundai SUV, the affidavit states. “A passenger in the blue Hyundai was also transported to Davis Hospital as a result of injuries sustained in the collision,” according to the affidavit.

Kulitea told troopers that while attempting to pass another vehicle on I-15, “the accelerator pedal of her vehicle became stuck, causing her to lose control of the vehicle’s speed,” the affidavit states.

She said she used her brake pedal to keep the speed of her pickup to between 60 and 80 mph.

“Kulitea explained that she swerved ‘wherever there was open space’ in an attempt to maintain control of her vehicle. When I questioned Kulitea about if she had impacted anything, she explained that she was unaware that any impact with pedestrians occurred,” according to the affidavit.

Troopers gave Kulitea field sobriety tests “and observed several clues of impairment,” the affidavit states. She also admitted to smoking marijuana earlier that morning, according to the affidavit.

“At the conclusion of my investigation, I determined that Kulitea was unsafe to operate a motor vehicle and placed her under arrest.”