SANDY, Utah, Nov. 30, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Three people are in critical condition after an auto-pedestrian accident near the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy Thursday night.
Lt. Dean Carriger of the Sandy Police Department told Gephardt Daily three individuals were crossing 9400 South at approximately 80 East to go to the Festival of Trees, which is taking place at the Expo Center, just after 7 p.m.
A 17-year-old male was driving a red Mitsubishi westbound on 9400 South, Carriger said, approaching a signal-controlled crosswalk.
“The signal had cycled to allow pedestrians to cross the street, we had three adult pedestrians, one male, two females, enter the roadway crossing from the north side of the street to the south side,” he added. “The 17-year-old driver failed to stop and struck all three pedestrians. As a result of the impact, the three pedestrians sustained critical injuries and were transported to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray for treatment.”
The driver also sustained minor injuries, and he was transported to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Further details such as the identities and exact ages of the people involved were not immediately released, but Carriger said they range in age to mid-40s to early-60s. The relationship between the pedestrians is not yet known.
The initial reports from witnesses on scene stated the driver had a red light, and the pedestrians had a green signal to cross.
There is no indication at this time that the driver was impaired by alcohol or drugs, Carriger said. “As far as any other factors that led to the collision, that is under investigation,” he added.
A Crash Analysis Reconstruction Team (CART) is en route to diagram and map out the scene to assist in determining the cause of the accident. Any potential charges to the driver will be determined in the course of the investigation.
A witness, who chose to remain anonymous, said she was driving home and stopped at the crosswalk right before the crash.
“I saw a lot of people crossing, they were moving quickly, some were running, some were just walking quickly,” she said. “There were a lot of people, a lot of cars, I saw brake lights out of the corner of my eye, saw people running to the pedestrians who had been hit. I concentrated on the driver right away because he was injured, he was inconsolable, he was incredibly upset. He was only upset about the people on the road and how upset it would make his mother. Everybody’s a victim in something like this and it’s important to pay attention all the time when there are vehicles involved, pedestrians and drivers.”
She said she thought the lights changed very quickly.
“I don’t think there should be a pedestrian crosswalk on a street where people have been coming 40 mph, seven blocks then all of a sudden a light that isn’t usually on turns on and turns red really quickly and at the same time the people got the yellow to cross,” she said. “I think the timing of the lights is the biggest problem here.”
Carriger said drivers are being advised to avoid travelling eastbound on 9400 South from State Street or westbound on 9400 South from 150 East until approximately 10 p.m. The Festival of Trees closes at 9 p.m.
“It’s always a tragic thing when something like happens during such a unique holiday event,” Carriger added. “We really want to stress the importance to pedestrians out here, to look before you cross even if you have a green light and make sure drivers see you, just in the event they miss something.”
Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information becomes available.