Utah Teen May Escape Criminal Charges After Fatal Hit and Run
A Utah teen may escape criminal charges after hitting a man on a bike in Draper, Utah, and leaving him on the side of the road to die.
The 17-year old female told her mother she had been in an accident in a different part of town, and was reportedly on her way to visit someone her parents did not want her to see, when she hit Davis Stanger, 60, of Murray, Utah. The impact was so severe it caused damage to the corner of the vehicle and windshield. Stanger, who was not wearing a helmet, was thrown from his bike and landed with one foot over the curb.
The teen's mother became suspicious after Draper Police put out a news flash asking for information regarding the accident and offering a reward. Her daughter admitted the impact took place in the vicinity where Stanger had been hit, saying she thought she hit a mail box, and had no idea she hit a person. She said it was dark and raining at the time of the accident and she did stop to see what she had hit, but did not spot the injured man lying by the side of the road. She said she even passed the scene later that night, likely after Stanger had been removed, and still did not see anything.
The Draper police agree with the teen’s story, saying it was raining, dark, and when the girl's vehicle struck the 60 year old man he was thrown off the road and into the brush, according to the Desert News. "His body was actually on the dirt side of the curb, with his foot on the curb itself. So unless you are really looking to the side of the road, it would have been difficult to see him," Draper Police Sgt. Chad Carpenter said.
Due to the fact that the teen left the scene of a fatal accident, she could be charged with a class three felony. If police buy her claim she hit a mail box she may escape criminal prosecution. The teen reported hitting “something” in a 911 call placed to police Monday night. Her vehicle was impounded and Draper investigators matched it to evidence left at the scene. Only the teen knows if she was distracted on her cell phone at the time of the accident, speeding, or even worse, under the influence of alcohol. There were no witnesses and the accident was not reported until the next day.