This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A fiery collision involving two semitrailer rigs left two men dead early Wednesday morning and a Tooele County stretch of Interstate 80 closed in both directions for most of the day.
Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce said that an eastbound semi hauling a flatbed trailer loaded with a military vehicle drifted into the median about 3 a.m. near the junction of I-80 and State Route 196, roughly 40 miles west of Salt Lake City.
The semi and its trailer rolled, propelling the vehicle it was hauling into the freeway's westbound lanes. Moments later, a two-trailer FedEx semi collided with the loose vehicle, and the semi then caught fire.
The driver of the first semi, Fred V. Marsh, 61, of Sun Valley, Nev., died at the scene. A passenger in the FedEx truck, Robert E. Kuntz, 58, of Urich, Mo., also died. Another male driver in the FedEx truck was transported to the hospital with injuries that were not life threatening.
Troopers had to put off plans to reopen one eastbound lane of I-80, Royce said, because firefighters had trouble keeping the blaze which engulfed the FedEx cab and its two trailers of packages under control.
At about 4:30 p.m., the eastbound lanes of I-80 were opened, the Utah Department of Transportation tweeted, and one westbound lane was opened.
UHP had diverted I-80 motorists through Grantsville and then back onto the freeway via SRs 36 and 196, a detour that reportedly delayed motorists up to 90 minutes, Royce said.
The cause of the accident was under investigation.