14 Injured in "Mass Casualty" Crash on I-84 in Vernon

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Fourteen people were injured, two seriously, in a three-car crash on Interstate 84 west in Vernon and traffic was backed up for miles on Sunday night.

    Firefighters are calling it a mass casualty incident.

    Two LifeStar helicopters transported two people who suffered serious injuries, ambulances transported 11 people and nine paramedics responded to the scene between exits 66 and 65, according to police and dispatchers.

    Vernon Fire Chief William Call said a van carrying 13 people collided with two other vehicles – a dark-colored Mercedes and a truck pulling a landscape trailer – then flipped several times over the right guard rail and went 40 to 50 feet down an embankment.

    The driver, a man, was ejected, and a woman's leg was trapped in the sliding door of the van, Call said. Two other passengers also had to be extricated.

    Police have identified the injured as Nelson Guzman, 49; Jose Pena, 50; Benigno Terrero, 80; Diana Terrero, 74; Crystal Sanchez, 27; Martin Dominguez, 59; Maria Dominguez, 51; Mabel Dominguez, 13; Marla Ovalle, 48; Agueda Nunez; Joyce Decosta, 49; Sheklma Decosta, 24; Ernest Bradley, 25; Samantha Garcia, 22; and David Soriano, 21.

    Police said 11 people suffered minor injuries and two people suffered serious, but non-life-threatening, injuries.

    A firefighter was also taken to the hospital for minor injuries sustained during the extrication process, according to Call. To his knowledge, no children were involved in the crash.

    Call said he heard the crash from a mile away.

    The crash happened around 5:45 p.m. Sunday and the highway was shut down for hours while emergency crews responded.

    The left lane reopened on I-84 west but state police said to expect intermittent closures for accident reconstruction throughout the night.

    Traffic was also backed up on the eastbound side after the crash.

    At least eight emergency departments responded to the scene.

    The van was towed away just before 11 p.m. Sunday.

    Police said they are looking into whether speed was a factor.