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Six people were killed and three were seriously injured in a two-car, high speed crash that happened at 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning near the Great Salt Lake State Park. A Dodge Stratus with seven passengers was heading southeast on State Road 202 when the driver, 35-year-old Veronica Martinez, attempted a left hand turn onto State Road 201. As the Stratus entered the intersection, it was broadsided by a westbound Mercury Sable driven by 34-year-old Jared Perry.

Six of the seven people in the Stratus were killed. Maritnez and front seat passenger, 29-year-old Ricardo Ramirez were killed but not thrown from the vehicle. Backseat passengers, 15-year-old Mercedes Martinez and 6-year-old Veronica Ramirez, were ejected and killed. Also killed were 5-year-old Isabel Ramirez and 15-year-old Megan Foot. The only survivor from the stratus is 4-year-old Ricardo Ramirez, but he was seriously injured. The two front seat passengers were belted but the other five were not.

Jared Perry was traveling with his 9-year-old son, Dwayne Perry, at the time of the accident. Both were seriously injured and were life-flighted to the University of Utah Hospital. Jared Perry was wearing a seat belt but it is unclear whether Dwayne was – neither was thrown from their vehicle.

The accident remains under investigation by the Utah Highway Patrol. Meanwhile, one thing is already crystal clear – seat belts are no guarantee that one will survive a crash but their use dramatically reduces the risk of serious injury and death. It is imperative that everyone use seat belts in every vehicle, every time.

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