Seven Utah State University students, instructor killed in traffic accident

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

The seven students were all undergraduate men and Utah State agriculture students, said Lt. Ed Michaud of the state highway patrol. They were returning from a field trip, and police said the instructor was driving.

The single-vehicle crash occurred at about 4:30 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, 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 died later at hospitals. At least two of the three injured were in critical condition, officials said, reports the AP.