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An accelerator problem that was the subject of a Toyota recall probably caused a car crash that killed two people in Wendover last week, police said.
The driver, 66-year-old Paul Vanalfen, tried to stop his 2008 Camry as he exited Interstate 80 at Aria Boulevard on Nov. 5.
The brakes were in working order and the car left skid marks at the scene, indicating Vanalfen was using them, said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Nathan Croft.
But the Washington Terrace man could not stop, and the car went through the intersection. It crashed head-on into a rock wall on the west side of the street, coming to a stop partially up the wall, troopers said.
Vanalfen died at the scene. His 61-year-old wife and 34-year-old son were flown to University Hospital in serious condition. His son's fianceé, 38-year-old Charlene Lloyd, suffered critical injuries and died the following morning.
Vanalfen's Camry was subject to at least three recent recalls, Croft said, one mandatory and two voluntary. The mandatory recall and repair, for a sticking accelerator, had been completed on the Camry.
On Saturday, Vanalfen's wife said the family "will definitely be looking into it [possible litigation]," but would not comment any further until the investigation of the cause of the accident is completed.
Troopers are investigating whether the other two recalls and repairs a short accelerator pad and a floor mat problem that could catch the pedal under the mat in the open position had also been completed.
Croft said investigators' only working theory is that one of those problems caused the crash.
"We can't say definitely, but there is a strong likelihood that that in fact did cause the crash," Croft said. Investigators are working with Toyota and the family to download a record of the crash data to aid their investigation.
Cimaron Neugebauer contributed to this report