According to Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff's Department, a Ford Fusion going eastbound at Mile Marker 31 drifted into the westbound lanes and right into the path of a Chevy Cruze with four people inside.
"Both cars recognized the danger and tried to avoid each other and weren't able to and had a nearly head on collision," Sgt. Cannon told ABC4 News. "Very violent crash. The cars are almost completely destroyed."
The front passenger in the Chevy, 15 year old Catherine Hancock of Eagle Mountain was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver and two children in the car with her had "serious but non-life threatening injuries". The driver of the Ford that caused the crash, 28 year old Jennifer Ashley Taft Bailey of Eagle Mountain, died later at Utah Valley regional Medical Center. She may have been driving under the influence.
"In the eastbound car there is some evidence of alcohol there," Sgt. Cannon said. "Whether it was being used currently or not we don't know. We are investigating that and hope to find that out."
When asked whether the evidence was empty containers or alcohol, Sgt. Cannon replied "Some of both", adding that a bottle of Crown Royal whisky was found in the wreckage of Bailey's car.
Bailey also had a dog with her which was thrown from the vehicle and found dead a short distance away. Sgt. Cannon described it as a "Labrador Retriever-type" of dog.
The Pioneer Day crash happened in the same area as another fatal DUI crash occurred in May 2013 and where Sgt. Cory Wride was shot and killed on January 30th. A memorial to Sgt. Wride sits just feet away from the site of Thursday's tragedy.