1 dead, 4 injured as SUV loaded with teens crashes fleeing Unified Police

Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah, May 15, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — One teenager is dead and four others injured after an early morning crash in Taylorsville.

Unified Police watch commander Lt. Manfred Lassig told Gephardt Daily officers first encountered the vehicle around midnight after receiving calls about a gray Ford Explorer driving recklessly in the Millcreek area.

When a police cruiser turned on its lights, the Explorer sped off and officers made the decision not to chase it.

About an hour later police were notified of a suspicious vehicle parked on State Street near 4200 South.

Officers were approaching the Explorer on foot when the driver bolted again, driving south on State Street before heading west on 4500 South.

Once again police chose not to engage in a high-speed chase.

Lassig said the Ford Explorer — with six people inside — was near the intersection of Atherton Drive and 4500 South when it suddenly changed direction and intentionally “targeted” an oncoming SUV.

Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

The Ford Explorer rolled, killing a teenage girl who was riding in the front passenger seat, and critically injuring three others. Another passenger was unhurt.

The occupants of the targeted SUV were also uninjured in what was described as a glancing blow when the vehicles collided.

Casey James Ziemelis-Cook. Photo Courtesy: Salt Lake County

Lassig said the driver of Ford Explorer ran into a nearby neighborhood, climbing fences and scaling walls before being captured on the Fore Lakes Golf Course.

The driver has been identified as Casey James Ziemelis-Cook, 19.

Ziemelis-Cook was taken to the hospital, although his injuries were considered minor. He may be facing charges of attempted murder and manslaughter, officials said.

Investigators have remained at the crash site throughout the night and asked commuters to avoid the area.

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