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An eighth person has died in a fiery two-vehicle crash near Kit Carson over the weekend as Colorado State Patrol released the victims' identities on Monday. Two children are among the dead.

First responders arrived about 4:30 p.m. Friday after two pickup trucks collided head-on on U.S. 40 near mile post 437 between Kit Carson and Hugo in eastern Colorado, State Patrol said.

State Patrol reported a white Ford F-150 pickup towing a boat and heading westbound attempted to pass a semi-truck. The pickup, in a passing zone in the eastbound lanes, crashed into a green Chevrolet Silverado pickup traveling in the opposite direction.

"The Ford did not move back to the westbound lanes and collided head-on with the Chevrolet," State Patrol said in a news release. "Shortly after the crash, the Ford became engulfed in flames."

Each vehicle was carrying four occupants.

The four Ford occupants died in the crash, State Patrol said.

State Patrol said two in the Chevrolet also died at the scene, while one died Friday en route to the hospital and the other died Sunday after being flown to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The victims in the Ford have been identified as driver Jian Zhong, 45, Cathy Zhong, 45, Myoli Zhong, 9, all of Aurora, and Ren Juntan, 53, of Centennial, State Patrol said.

State Patrol identified victims in the Chevy as driver Sammy Henry, 59, of Liberal, Kan., Joshua Henry, 36, of Sterling, Maki Henry, 8, and Messiah Henry. Messiah's age is unknown.

The crash remains under investigation.


Chhun Sun is a sports reporter with an emphasis in preps. He joined The Gazette in April 2015 and covered public safety for three years before joining @gazettepreps staff. The Thailand-born Cambodian-American has been in journalism for nearly two decades.

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