TREMONTON, Utah – A Utah State University van overturned Monday on a highway about 65 miles north of Salt Lake City, killing seven students and an instructor, authorities said. Three other students were injured.
The 11 occupants of the van were ejected as the vehicle rolled four times on Interstate 84 (search) near Tremonton, said Trooper Jeff Nigbur.
Seven of the dead were Utah residents and one was from Washington state, said patrol Trooper Jeff Nigbur.
The dead were identified as driver, Evan Parker, 45, of Hooper; Steven Bair, 24, of Moses Lake, Wash.; Curt Madsen, 23, of Payson; Ryan McEntire, 22, of West Point; Bradley Wilcox, 26, of Salt Lake City; and Justin Gunnell, 24, of Providence.
Dusty Fuhriman, 22, of Tremonton, later died at Bear River Hospital (search) in Tremonton. Jonathan Jorgensen, 22, of Hyrum, died after being flown to University Hospital in Salt Lake City, according to the report.
The single-vehicle crash occurred at about 4 p.m. It appeared the van's left rear tire blew out as it tried to pass another vehicle, and speed was a contributing factor, patrol Lt. Ed Michaud said.
The van's roof was collapsed to the windows, and parts of the vehicle and personal belongings littered the area near the freeway.
The university, located in Logan about 70 miles north of Salt Lake City, has about 21,000 students. The students were underclassmen, mostly freshmen.
"Some have only been on campus a couple of weeks," university President Stan Albrecht said, calling the deaths an "incredible tragedy."
The students were on a trip to look at agricultural equipment in Tremonton, about 85 miles southwest of the Logan campus, said university spokesman John DeVilbiss.
A similar rollover shocked the school in April 2001. Six members of the men's volleyball club were injured when their Dodge van flipped over near Laramie, Wyo. The crash prompted a government safety warning for large-sized vans.