Escalante, UT Truck Crash, June 1963



Escalante, June 10. -- Twelve persons from Salt Lake City, Provo and Ogden were killed Monday afternoon when a truck carrying 46 scouts and scouters overturned on a steep desert road 43 miles southeast of here.
Two of the youthful survivors of the crash walked more than 2 1/2 miles through the desolate country to summon aid for their stricken companions.
Among those reported dead in the accident by the Utah Highway Patrol were two members of the Brigham Young faculty, both of whom were leaders of the expedition, and a Salt Lake City reporter for the Deseret News and Salt Lake Telegram.
Reports from the highway patrol said 34 persons on the truck also were injured is the accident, the third worst in Utah history.
First reports put the deaths from the crash as high as 16 but the figure later was revised by the highway patrol.
The list of the dead given by the highway patrol is:
DR. MERLIN J. SHAW, 362 E. 700 North, Provo, assistant professor at BYU and one of the tour leaders.
H. DARRELL TAYLOR, 45, 585 E. Sagewood Ave., Provo, a BYU professor and also one of the tour leaders.
DOROTHY HANSEN, 764 2nd East, Salt Lake City, Deseret News and Salt Lake Telegram reporter.
RANDY HALL, 725 35th St., Ogden.
ROBERT COOK, 224 G St., Salt Lake City.
RANDY MILLER, 14, 416 E. 2200 North, Provo.
W. H. CREER, 300 E. 1900 North, Provo.
GORDON GROW, 1600 E. 800 North, Provo.
LYNN MERRELL, 625 E. 2130 North, Provo.
GARY RASMUSSEN, 2255 N. 650 East, Provo.
JOEL W. ERICKSON, 14, 1840 N. 150 East, Provo.
GARY CHRISTENSEN, 14, 2159 N. 250 East, Provo.
The tragic accident took place on an unimproved road between 50-Mile Wash and Sody Ranch on the way to Hole-in-the-Rock, Kane County.
A survivor said the driver attempted to shift gears to go up a steep grade but the attempt failed and the big truck toppled over backward 25 feet into the wash ravine and landed on some of the victims.
Highway patrol officers from throughout southern Utah, Garfield and Kane counties, sheriff's deputies and Panguitch and Kanab police raced to the scene of the crash and a doctor was flown in by helicopter from Page, Ariz., to minister to the injured.
Two Kanab doctors were called to Panguitch to help with the crash victims.
The group on the truck consisted of Explorer Scouts from the Provo LDS Pleasant View Ward, East Sharon Stake, and 10 other persons, including five girls and women, from the Salt Lake and Ogden area.
The trip was sponsored by the Socotwa Expedition Corp., which stages educational tours for LDS young people.

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