7 Utah students killed in van rollover

08:08 PM CDT on Monday, September 26, 2005

Associated Press

TREMONTON, Utah A Utah State University van overturned Monday on a highway about 65 miles north of Salt Lake City, killing seven students and injuring three, the Utah Highway Patrol said.

The vehicle rolled four times on the freeway near Tremonton, and all 10 occupants of the van were ejected, said Trooper Jeff Nigbur.

All the passengers were men and all were USU students, said Lt. Ed Michaud of the highway patrol. Their names were being withheld until relatives could be notified.

Six of the students were pronounced dead at the scene. A seventh died at Bear River Hospital in Tremonton, said hospital administrator Eric Packer.

Two of the students were in critical condition at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, hospital supervisor Robert Miller said. The third was taken to University Hospital in Salt Lake City in critical condition, Michaud said.

The single-vehicle crash occurred at about 4:30 p.m. It appeared the left rear tire on the van had blown as it tried to pass another vehicle and speed was a contributing factor, Michaud said.

Utah State University, located in Logan, has about 21,000 students. Officials there did not immediately return calls seeking comment.