Van overturned in U.S., killing eight students and instructor

A Utah State University van overturned on a highway about 65 miles (105 kilometers) north of Salt Lake City, killing eight students and an instructor, authorities said. Two other students were injured.

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

Seven students and the instructor died Monday, an eighth student died from injuries overnight at a hospital in Ogden, Utah, a hospital spokesman said.

The single-vehicle crash occurred at about 4 p.m. Monday. It appeared the van's left rear tire blew out as it tried to pass another vehicle, and speed was a contributing factor, patrol Lt. Ed 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 people were pronounced dead at the scene, and two others 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 (113 kilometers) north of Salt Lake City, has about 21,000 students. The students were underclassmen, mostly freshmen.

"Some have only been on campus a couple of weeks," university President Stan Albrecht said, calling the deaths an "incredible tragedy."

The students were on a trip to look at agricultural equipment in Tremonton, about 85 miles (140 kilometers) southwest of the Logan campus, said university spokesman John DeVilbiss.