LOGAN — A 42-year-old Richmond man died in a three vehicle accident, Thursday morning south of Cove.
Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Lee Perry said Leigh Purser was driving a black Jeep Wrangler northbound on US 91 and was rear-ended while trying to turn onto highway 61
“A Jeep was being followed by a minivan, northbound on US 91,” said Perry. “The Jeep went into the turn lane, the van followed him into the turn lane and as the Jeep applied his brakes to slow down, to make a left turn onto state road 61, the van hit the back of the Jeep. That caused the Jeep to veer into the southbound lanes of traffic at which point the Jeep was hit by a pickup truck that was coming southbound.”
Purser was not wearing a seat belt and is believed to have died on impact. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His body had to be extricated from the vehicle.
The driver of the black Dodge pickup truck was Kelven Alvey of Preston, Idaho. The 52-year-old had minor injuries and was taken to a doctor in Preston for treatment.
The gray minivan was driven by Kalin Menlove of Tremonton. The 21-year-old was unhurt.
Perry said investigators believe Menlove was drowsy at the time of the accident. They are also investigating other factors.
“We’re going to be looking at all possibilities at this point,” said Perry. “We need to do a more thorough interview with the driver of the van and look at any mechanical malfunctions with the van and any other reasons the why the driver of the minivan didn’t see the driver of the Jeep putting the brakes on. It could be a case of following too close. It could be fatigued driving, distracted driving, any number of possibilities and so that’s one of the things were going to have to continue to look at.”
An investigation into the accident is continuing. No charges have been filled.
All southbound traffic along US 91 was diverted onto highway 61 while crews investigated the accident. Northbound traffic was reduced to one lane.
Perry said Thursday’s accident is now the 12th fatality in this area this year.
The accident was reported around 6:40 a.m. It was cleared by 10 a.m.
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