FARMINGTON — An Ojo Amarillo Elementary School student is among the six people who died after a car crash on Sunday afternoon in Utah.
Esmerelda Velasquez, 11, of Kirtland, was killed after the head-on collision. Three of her relatives and two passengers in another car also died in the wreck.
The crash happened at around 2:30 p.m. on U.S. Route 191, about 15 miles north of Monticello, Utah, according to a Utah Highway Patrol press release.
A Chrysler Town and Country minivan with five people inside — including Velasquez — was traveling north when it attempted to pass a vehicle and struck a southbound Chrysler Crossfire sports car head-on.
The two people inside the sports car — Cody Farrabee, 22, of Queen Creek, Ariz., and Rheana Hazel, 23, of Las Vegas, Nev. — died.
Four of the people in the minivan died, including Velasquez, the 23-year-old driver, Samantha BlueEyes, and passengers Alfreda Bowman, 29, and Michael BlueEyes, 22, all of Salt Lake City. Utah Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Todd Royce said Velasquez was the stepsister of Samantha and Michael BlueEyes. Bowman was her aunt.
The press release states the sports car's momentum after the collision carried it off a steep embankment. The car then came to rest about 100 feet below the roadway and was destroyed by a small fire.
Royce said the sole survivor of the crash, Travis Howland, 24, of Salt Lake City, is currently in a Grand Junction, Colo., hospital, where he is in critical condition.
Ojo Amarillo Elementary School Principal Abena McNeely said Velasquez was always smiling and bubbly and took part in many activities at the school.
Velasquez had just finished fifth grade at the school.
"It's a big blow to everybody emotionally," McNeely said. "She was a lot of fun. She was a very cute girl and very outgoing."
McNeely said Velasquez was first runner-up in the annual Ojo Amarillo pageant, performed in school musicals and participated in basketball and cross-country.
School administrators on Monday sent a letter to parents about Velasquez. Parents can contact the school if their students need support in dealing with the girl's death.
A funeral service for Velasquez, Bowman and Samantha and Michael BlueEyes will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kirtland.