Driver identified in fatal wrong-way crash, SLCPD investigating

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The Salt Lake City Police Department is investigating a wrong-way crash in the Poplar Grove neighborhood of Salt Lake City that killed one person and left two others in the hospital on Friday night, according to a press release.

Police say the driver who died in the crash was identified as Wilber Cardenas, 19.

Former haunted house catches fire, collapses in Murray

SLCPD said its investigation began shortly before 10 p.m. on Friday after a call came in about a crash. According to police, the preliminary investigation revealed Cardenas was driving north in the southbound lanes on South 5600 West, where he may have swerved before the crash, causing his car to hit the other vehicle involved in the crash.

Salt Lake City Police investigate a deadly wrong-way crash between two cars on Feb. 9, 2024. The crash left two people in the hospital and left one driver dead. (Courtesy of Salt Lake City Police Department)
Salt Lake City Police investigate a deadly wrong-way crash between two cars on Feb. 9, 2024. The crash left two people in the hospital and left one driver dead. (Courtesy of Salt Lake City Police Department)

When officers got to the scene, they found two cars — a red Kia and a silver Infiniti — with “extensive damage,” with Cardenas’s car upside-down and the other car with damage on the front end.

The Salt Lake City Fire Department was able to rescue the driver of the Kia and that driver was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.

SLCPD said the passenger of the Infiniti was also rescued by fire crews and taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, but Cardenas was trapped in the vehicle after police say the crash caused the car to roll and trap him.

Emergency officials on the scene attempted life-saving techniques on the trapped driver and requested a helicopter, but Cardenas died on the scene, according to SLCPD.

The deadly crash is still being investigated by SLCPD.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to ABC4 Utah.