Head-on collision kills 2, injures 3 in Eagle Mountain

By Morgan Jacobsen, Deseret News

Published: Thu, July 24, 2014, 4:50 p.m. MDT


EAGLE MOUNTAIN — Utah County sheriff's deputies are investigating whether alcohol contributed to a head-on collision that killed an Eagle Mountain woman and a 15-year-old girl who was in the other car.

Killed in the accident were: Catherine Hancock, 15, of Eagle Mountain; and Jennifer Ashley Taft Bailey, 28, of Eagle Mountain.

About 1:30 p.m., police responded to an accident on state Route 73 near Eagle Mountain. A father and his three children were headed west and a vehicle driven by Bailey was headed east.

"What we're hearing and what the evidence is telling us is the eastbound car appears to have drifted over the lines," Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said. "The driver of the westbound car was unable to avoid a collision."

Cannon said the collision was a "very violent crash. The cars are almost completely destroyed." Hancock was killed on impact.

Bailey, the sole occupant in her car, was flown by helicopter to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, where she was later pronounced dead.

Deputies discovered an open container of alcohol in Bailey's Ford Fusion, according to Cannon. "Whether it was being used ... we don't know. We are investigating that," he said.

Hancock's brothers, ages 10 and 7, were in the Chevrolet Cruze driven by their father. All members of the family were wearing seat belts and had to be extricated from the vehicle by emergency crews. The father and two sons were taken to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. Their injuries were serious, but not life-threatening, according to Cannon.

"It's frustrating to see these things," he said. "Most accidents or crashes that you see are preventable on the part of one or the other or both. We don't know exactly what happened here."

Contributing: Jed Boal

Email: mjacobsen@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

1. My2Cents
Taylorsville, UT,
July 25, 2014

Not safe at any speed!!!! Should all vehicles be considered not safe at all? I know a lot of the major crashes are speed related but cars should not be turned into bowling balls flying across the landscape.

There has to be a design flaw and manufacturing defect in the materials and safety devices that don't stay attached to the frames or undercarriage of all these vehicles. Have we allowed car manufactures to design safety out of the vehicle by allowing them to build cars out of PVC pipes just to decrease weight to increase mileage? How much is a life worth? How much is the survival of people in exploding toy cars worth? Why and accident occurs can be blamed on drivers. Why vehicles are exploding on impact and becoming projectiles leaving passengers without any safety is criminal flaws for being so poorly manufactured.

Its quite mysterious as to why are all these vehicles disintegrating in these collisions? They put tens of thousands of dollars in safety equipment and design yet every crash all the safety devices and air bags and equipment are shredded into pieces making them useless.

2. Fitz
Murray, UT,
July 25, 2014

This piece of road seems to have a lot of accidents, some fatal. Perhaps it is past time for UDOT to fix the issues with this road. It definitely needs some work to make it safer. Two lanes, with all the traffic, is not enough.

3. airnaut
Everett, 00,
July 25, 2014

Taylorsville, UT

I am embarassed for your ignorance.

Head-on collisions have nearly 1,000 times more potential and kenetic energy of any other accident.

It's a modern engineering miracle that 3 others went to hospital with NON-life threatening injury, instead of body bags as well.

Alcohol may or may not have played a factor into the cause of this accident,
but SPEEDS had everything to do with the out come of it.