The Utah Highway Patrol revealed that an East Carbon man, who was critically injured Friday in the terrible wreck that killed two women and closed down Highway 6, may have been at fault.
UHP Lieutenant David Bennion revealed that Darin Hawkinson, 47, was allegedly “driving while impaired” when his vehicle drifted off the road. Hawkinson allegedly overcorrected into oncoming traffic and slammed into a Hyundai Sante Fe, sending the Hyundai into the path of a semi-truck.
The crash resulted in the deaths of two Sandy women: Lynnette Hulse, 63, and Sharlene Atkinson, 64, who were passengers in the back of the Hyundai. The women’s husbands, Steven Hulse, 64, and William Atkinson, Jr., 65, were both severely injured, but survived.
Bennion said all four passengers in the Hyundai were wearing seat belts.
The driver of the semi truck was identified as James Henrie, 53, of Price. Henrie was uninjured in the accident.
Hawkinson was flown by Life Flight helicopter to the University Hospital in Salt Lake City and remains in critical condition.
Bennion said the accident was a tragedy, especially considering that it might not have happened had the driver not been impaired.
“This happens all of the time, where people overcorrect and come back into the lane because they are either fatigued or distracted,” Bennion said. “It really hurts when someone is impaired, and that’s completely avoidable. That’s what makes this extra sad.”
Bennion revealed that preliminary results from the hospital were what indicate that the driver was impaired, but the UHP is waiting on their own blood work to confirm the results.
He said, “We’ll know for sure what charges we will file when we get those toxicology results back from the lab.”
“Our preliminary investigation indicates that he was impaired,” Bennion said. “If he survives, there will probably be charges against him.”
The probable charge is two counts of automobile homicide.
The accident occurred on Highway 6 near mile marker 251 on the hill just outside of Wellington at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Friday.
Officials had to close all lanes on Highway 6 near the accident for approximately an hour and a half to preserve evidence. Traffic was backed up approximately three miles into Wellington before the scene was cleared, and one lane of traffic was allowed through at approximately 2:15 p.m.