TREMONTON, Utah (AP) – A Utah State University van overturned Monday on a highway about 65 miles north of Salt Lake City, killing eight students and injuring three, authorities said.

The 11 occupants of the van were ejected as the vehicle rolled four times on Interstate 84 near Tremonton, said Trooper Jeff Nigbur.

All the victims were undergraduate men and all were Utah State agriculture students, said Lt. Ed Michaud of the state highway patrol.

The single-vehicle crash occurred at about 4:30 p.m. It appeared the van’s left rear tire blew out as it tried to pass another vehicle, and speed was a contributing factor, Michaud said.

The van’s roof was collapsed to the windows, and parts of the vehicle and personal belongings littered the area near the freeway.

Six of the students were pronounced dead at the scene, and two died later at hospitals. At least two of the three injured were in critical condition, officials said.

The university, located in Logan about 70 miles north of Salt Lake City, has about 21,000 students.

“Everybody at this point is stunned,” said Utah State spokesman John DeVilbiss.

The students were on a trip to look at agricultural equipment in Tooele, about 85 miles southwest of the Logan campus, DeVilbiss said.

AP-ES-09-26-05 2231EDT


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