17-year-old Santaquin crash victim dies of injuries after high-speed chase

A 120 mph chase on Interstate 15 led to a multi-vehicle crash in Utah County on Saturday night, June 30, 2018. Photo: Utah Highway Patrol

UTAH COUNTY, Utah, July 1, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — The 17-year-old female victim who was critically injured in a two-vehicle crash Saturday night in Santaquin has died.

Rita M. Dolph, of Santaquin, died Sunday morning in the hospital, Utah Highway Patrol said in a news release.

Dolph was eastbound in the intersection at Santaquin Main Street when a driver who was fleeing from police in a stolen truck took Exit 244 off Interstate 15 and T-boned Dolph’s car.

The crash, which occurred around 9 p.m., was preceded by a high-speed chase on I-15, when the 17-year-old male driver of a Dodge truck stolen out of Payson fled from a Utah County Sheriff’s deputy at speeds approaching 120 miles an hour.

Salem police officers had attempted to stop the truck earlier and the driver fled. Salem police terminated their pursuit.

Dolph was transported by medical helicopter to a local trauma center, where she later succumbed to her injuries.

The driver of the stolen truck was also injured in the crash and was transported to a local hospital.

According to the UHP news release, evidence shows the driver in the stolen pickup ran a red light at the off-ramp when he collided with the victim’s vehicle.

He has been booked into Slate Canyon Youth Detention Center and is charged with:

  • Vehicle theft, a 2nd-degree felony
  • Two counts of failure to respond to the command of police, a 3rd-degree felony
  • Two counts of possession of stolen property, a class B misdemeanor
  • Numerous traffic infractions, including speeding, failure to operate within a single lane, failure to stop at a stop sign, failure to stop at a red light

Additional charges may be filed as evidence is processed.

Utah County Sheriff’s Office is conducting the criminal investigation related to the vehicle theft, pursuit, and crash. The Utah Highway Patrol conducted the crash scene investigation.


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