15-year-old driving under learner’s permit rolls SUV on I-15; 1 critical, 1 dead

One teen is dead and another teen in critical condition after a 15-year-old with a learner's permit rolled an SUV carrying a family of eight on Interstate 15, Millard County, Utah, June 9, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A teenage girl is dead and a teenage boy is in critical condition after the SUV driven by another teenage girl, under a learner’s permit, rolled Thursday on Interstate 15 near Holden.

One teen is dead and another teen is in critical condition after a 15-year-old with a Learner Permit crashed an SUV carrying a family of eight on Interstate 15, Millard County, Utah, June 9, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News
One teen is dead and another teen is in critical condition after an SUV carrying a family of eight on Interstate 15 rolled Thursday. Millard County, Utah, June 9, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

A family of eight from Fruit Heights was traveling to California in a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban, according to Utah Highway Patrol’s news release. The southbound SUV crashed near milepost 174 on I-15 around 11:43 a.m.

The SUV was in the outside lane when the 15-year-old driver attempted to change lanes to the inside lane.

“As she began the movement she noticed another vehicle in the inside lane and swerved back to the right,” Trooper Jeff Jones, who investigated the incident, said, according to the news release. “The driver overcorrected and lost control of the vehicle. The Chevy (SUV) went off the road to the right and rolled as the driver overcorrected back to the left.”

The SUV rolled across both travel lanes and into the median, Jones said. While it was rolling, 17-year-old Sofia Vasquez was fatally injured.

One teen is dead and another teen in critical condition after a 15-year-old with a learner's permit rolled an SUV carrying a family of eight on Interstate 15, Millard County, Utah, June 9, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News
One teen is dead and another teen in critical condition after a 15-year-old with a learner’s permit rolled an SUV carrying a family of eight on Interstate 15, Millard County, Utah, June 9, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

A 19-year-old sustained serious injuries during the crash as well, UHP said in its release. He was flown to Utah Valley Hospital, formerly Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, in Provo in critical condition.

The mother was the only family member not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Under the provisions of Utah Code 53-3-210.5 – Learner permit – it is legal to drive on any public roadway or highway with a learner’s permit.

According to the Utah Safety Council, a crash involving teen drivers occurs every 24 minutes.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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2 Comments

  • ladybugavenger June 10, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    That’s so sad. Condolences to the whole family. It’s just terrible. My heart goes out to the momma. Just a tragic accident.

  • Bob June 10, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    tragic thing. combine a young, inexperienced driver, a vehicle will a high cg that’s prone to rolling with overcorrection, and speeds likely over 80mph. scary thing to drive with any teen, really

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