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On Sept. 22, 2006, Reggie Shaw, 19, climbed into his sport utility vehicle to head to a painting job. He picked up a Pepsi at the local gas station and started over the mountain pass between Tremonton, Utah, his hometown, and Logan, the big city to the east, near the Idaho border.

It was 6:30 in the morning, and freezing rain was falling. Just behind Reggie was John Kaiserman, a farrier, who was driving a truck and trailer carrying a thousand pounds of horseshoes and equipment. Mr. Kaiserman noticed Reggie swerve several times across the yellow divider and thought: This guy is going to cause us all some trouble.

Reggie came over a big crest and headed down a hill, traveling around 55 miles an hour as he hit a flat stretch. He crossed the yellow divider again. This time, he clipped a Saturn heading the other direction on the two-lane highway. Inside the Saturn were two men, Jim Furfaro and Keith O’Dell, commuting to work.

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