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Van Crashes in Utah, Killing 4

December 4, 2002

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ A van carrying 14 Mexican nationals slammed into a tractor-trailer rig Wednesday, killing two children and two adults and critically injuring several others, authorities said.

A 7-year-old girl, a 17-year-old boy and two men in their 20s were killed in the crash, said Highway Patrol Sgt. Dan Ferguson. The survivors ranged in age from 2 to 37.

All were Mexican nationals, Ferguson said. Officials called the Immigration and Naturalization Service to help with interpretation and to determine their hometowns.

The van struck the front of the truck at about 5 a.m. on Highway 89 about eight miles east of Kanab, in southern Utah, Highway Patrol Sgt. Doug McCleve said. He said the truck driver wasn’t hurt.

By the time troopers arrived, passers-by had taken some of the survivors to Kane County Hospital.

Five survivors were treated at the hospital and released, said spokeswoman Laurali Noteman. Five others were taken to trauma centers in Las Vegas and St. George, Utah.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service was called to help with interpretation and determine their hometowns.

Arturo Chavarria, with the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City, said some of those in the van are in INS custody.

Kanab is 260 miles south of Salt Lake City, near the Arizona state line.

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