A cross-country family vacation turned tragic Tuesday when three members of a North Carolina family were killed and a fourth critically injured in a head-on crash near Scipio, Millard County.
The crash happened on state Route 50 about three miles south of the town about 8:35 p.m., according to the Utah Highway Patrol.
A Porsche Cayenne was passing another vehicle, but after doing so did not immediately return to the proper lane, staying instead in oncoming traffic, said UHP Lt. Todd Royce. The SUV then hit a Ford Focus head-on, he said.
The impact from the violent collision caused the SUV to flip onto its roof, and pushed the Focus backwards a good distance, according to Royce. Both vehicles then caught fire. A passer-by who came across the crash was able to cut the seat belts of the SUV's occupants and drag them out of the burning vehicle.
Information about the heroic good Samaritan was not immediately available, Royce said.
"Fortunately, the fire department arrived in time to prevent the fire from overtaking any of the occupants," Royce said.
The driver and front-seat passenger of the Focus - Tyrone Bova, 47, and his wife, Holly Jo Bova, 43, of Archland, North Carolina - were killed instantly, he said. Both had to be extricated from their car. Haden Bova, 11, who was in the back seat, died while en route to Primary Children's Hospital, Royce said.
A 17-year-old boy also in the back seat was taken to Primary Children's Hospital in extremely critical condition.
Lying among the wreckage of the Focus, investigators found a binder with the title "Bova Family Vacation 2018," Royce said. The family appeared to be a cross-country road trip that started in their home of North Carolina. Based on their itinerary, Utah was not their final destination, he said.
The Sandy woman driving the SUV was stable, he said. Her 9-year-old daughter was hospitalized in critical condition. Their names were not immediately released.
Royce said speed and possible distracted driving from two dogs in the SUV were being looked at as possible factors in the crash.