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Questions remain about crash that killed 2 Draper teens

By Pat Reavy  |  Posted Nov 21st, 2016 @ 6:43pm

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DRAPER — Students at several high schools on the south end of the Salt Lake County wore navy blue to school Monday as a show of solidarity and support for their peers at Corner Canyon High School who are mourning the loss of two classmates in a weekend crash.

Late Saturday, five 16 year olds, all from Draper, were injured in a single vehicle rollover. Lexi Fenton and Ethan Fraga were both ejected and killed.

"Our hearts are broken at the loss of our dear sweet Lexie Sage Fenton," her family said in a prepared statement Monday afternoon. "We know that Lexie was welcomed and embraced by our loving Savior and that we will see her again."

Three others, Hayden Gale, Romey Kelly and Lexie's twin sister, Lauren Fenton, were injured. All have since been released from the hospital.

The group was in an SUV traveling north on Highland Drive about 11:40 p.m. when the driver lost control of the vehicle for an unknown reason near 12900 South, said Draper Police Sgt. Chad Carpenter.

The vehicle rolled and caught fire. Carpenter said Monday that police still had many questions to answer in their investigation and few details about what occurred.

The cause of the crash — whether distracted driving, impaired driving, a mechanical failure or overcorrecting was involved — was still unknown Monday.

"Right now it's just too soon for us to know," Carpenter said.

Investigators Monday also weren't sure who was wearing a seat belt or how fast the SUV was going when it crashed.

There were also reports that at least one victim was pulled out of the car, either by an emergency responder, a bystander or one of the other teens, Carpenter said. Police were still interviewing people Monday to sort out the timeline and to determine if the vehicle was on fire at that point and how fast the fire spread.

Eventually, Carpenter said the SUV was fully engulfed.

"The whole vehicle was charred," he said.

Carpenter did not know Monday where the teens were going or coming from at the time of the crash.

Sunday night, hundreds of teenagers gathered to comfort one another at Draper Park to the mourn the deaths of Lexie and Ethan. Both were remembered as popular students. All five were members of the varsity or junior varsity mountain biking team at Corner Canyon, which won the state championship last week.

Navy blue ribbons were tied around trees in the park and at the high school. Bouquets of flowers were left at several places along Highland Drive on Monday as a makeshift memorial for the teens continued to grow.

Tributes also flowed from friends, family members and even rival mountain biking teams and high schools on social media.

"Our hearts are heavy following the loss of fellow league members from the Corner Canyon mountain bike team. Our thoughts are with the friends and families of Ethan Fraga and Lexie Fenton," the Bonneville High mountain bike team wrote on Facebook.

"Lexie and her twin sister, Lauren, joined the CCHS team in 2014 as freshmen. I had the great fortune of being able to ride with them on quite a few occasions during that first year. I was always impressed by their inner strength and determination to make it to the top in spite of challenges," Greg Steffen of the Chain mountain bike team wrote on Facebook. "During the past three years of racing, Lexie and Lauren nearly always crossed the finish line within moments of each other. Lexie had a fierce game face on the bike, but off the bike, her smile would light up any room."


Family members Monday remembered Lexie's "contagious laugh" and "beautiful smile" and for having "the most genuine and loyal heart you could find." She was an active member of the LDS Church and loved Harry Potter movies when she wasn't mountain bike racing. She had also recently fallen in love with wake boarding and on the day of the crash told her mother that her Christmas wish was to "dewinterize the boat and go surfing," according to the family.

The Fenton family also talked about the special bond Lexie had with her sister.

"Although her time was short, the relationship between her and her sister is unmatched. They were identical, inseparable and the very best of friends. There isn't a night that went by where they didn't laugh themselves to sleep."

While thanking the first responders on the scene that night, the Fentons also thanked two bystanders who were among the first to help the teens. Jason Hancey and Tiffany Coon's "selfless and heroic act" helped saved Lauren, the family stated.

"The youth in our community are our most valued treasures and the hope of the future. We lost two very active, vibrant 16-year-old students from Corner Canyon High School this weekend in a tragic auto accident. Lexie and Ethan will be dearly missed by all who knew them," Draper city wrote on its Facebook page.

Grief counselors were at Corner Canyon on Monday, as well as Draper Park Middle School, Oak Hollow Elementary, Draper Elementary and Willow Springs Elementary.

Students at Brighton, Alta and Jordan High Schools were also encouraged to wear navy blue Monday, while Juan Diego Catholic High Principal Galey Colosimo asked students to wear navy shirts with their uniforms.

At Channing Hall Elementary, where Fraga was a former student, the school was also encouraged to wear blue Monday.

"Ethan was a wonderful kid who always had a smile on his face. We send our prayers and thoughts to the family," the school wrote on Facebook.

"I love these girls so much. Our family will never be the same and I don't know if our broken hearts will ever heal. We love and miss you, Lexie Fenton," one woman wrote on social media, echoing the posts of many others.

GoFundMe pages* were established by friends to help pay for Lexi's and Ethan's funeral.

* does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.


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