Children were among the eight people killed in Sunday’s series of crashes in Millard County, troopers said as they released new details Monday.
Five of the eight people who died were in the same vehicle, two were in another vehicle, and one fatality was from a third vehicle, the Utah Highway Patrol said in a statement. Four of the people who were killed were adults and four were under age 15.
The five people in the same vehicle were identified Monday afternoon as Riggins Sawyer, 6; Franki Sawyer, 2; Kortni Sawyer, 30, all residents of St. George; Race Sawyer, 37, and his son Ryder Sawyer, 12, both residents of Lehi.
Race Sawyer was also identified as Kortni Sawyer's brother-in-law, according to UHP's statement.
The two who died in a second vehicle were identified as Richard Lorenzon, 51, and Maricela Lorenzon, 47, both of Salt Lake City.
The fatality reported in the third vehicle was identified as Cameron Valentine, 15, of Yuma, Arizona.
A total of 22 vehicles were involved in the pile-up after high winds caused a sandstorm or dust storm that impaired visibility on the roadway, troopers said. The crash occurred in the southbound lanes between Fillmore and Kanosh around 4:30 p.m.
Troopers said Monday they believe minor crashes initially blocked the roadway. While trying to stop for those crashes, a semitrailer is believed to have rear-ended a pickup truck, according to the UHP.
"The most significant crashes happened behind the semi with two vehicles becoming wedged underneath the back of the trailer. They appear to have been hit from behind by another pickup. Another vehicle appears to have sideswiped the semitrailer, as well," troopers said.
Ten people were taken to hospitals with injuries, at least three of whom are in critical condition.
Troopers from Richfield and Beaver responded to help after the crash. Multiple ambulances and medical helicopters also responded to the scene.
"We want to express our deep appreciation for the Millard County Sheriff's Office and the volunteer fire and EMS crews from Delta and Fillmore who provided medical response. This has been a heartbreaking incident for everyone who responded to this incident. The Utah Highway Patrol relies on local medical responders in these types of incident," UHP said in the statement.
"We're stunned and saddened by the horrific accidents in Millard County. We fervently pray for the loved ones of those who perished and for those fighting for their lives," Gov. Spencer Cox said in a tweet late Sunday night.
"This was a tragic and horrible crash. While we mourn those who lost their lives in this incident I am amazed with the response of our troopers, sheriff's office, EMS, fire and the incredible volunteers from communities across Millard County," UHP Col. Michael Rapich tweeted early Monday morning.
This was a tragic and horrible crash. While we morn those who lost their lives in this incident I am amazed with the response of our Troopers, Sheriffs Office, EMS, Fire and the incredible volunteers from communities across Millard County. https://t.co/U7zmVE1iUZ— Michael Rapich (@ColonelRapich) July 26, 2021