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Teen faces charges in crash that killed 2 Corner Canyon classmates

By Pat Reavy  |  Posted Apr 28th, 2017 @ 5:58pm

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DRAPER — A 16-year-old Corner Canyon High School student is facing negligent homicide charges for a crash that killed two of her classmates last year.

The Draper Police Department on Friday announced that prosecutors had agreed to file the criminal charges against the girl who was driving the car. She is charged in 3rd District Juvenile Court with two counts of negligent homicide, a class A misdemeanor.

Ethan Fraga and Lexie Fenton, both 16, were killed late on the night of Nov. 19 when the car they were riding in rolled on Highland Drive near 12900 South and caught fire. The vehicle was carrying five 16-year-olds from Corner Canyon High School.

Lexie and Ethan were ejected from the car and pronounced dead at the scene.

The others — Hayden Gale, Lexie Fenton's twin sister Lauren Fenton, and the driver — were transported to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray with mostly minor injuries.

KSL is not naming the driver at this time.

Draper Deputy Police Chief John Eining said the investigation into the crash was "incredibly extensive" and detectives have "no doubt" about what caused the incident. But police declined to release specifics about how the accident happened, saying it will eventually come out in court.

However, juvenile court proceedings involving misdemeanor crimes are not generally open to the public.

Some deductions could be made based on what charges were not recommended, Eining said. Police did not file a petition for the more serious charges of automobile homicide or manslaughter.

Automobile homicide is typically filed when alcohol is involved. Manslaughter is typically filed when a person exhibits extreme negligence that should have been realized.

Eining declined to comment on whether detectives believe speed was a factor in the crash.

”Everybody’s suffered enough, but at the end of the day something very tragic happened. And it happened as a result of the decisions that were made, and people need to be held accountable,” he said.

”There’s great responsibility when you get behind the wheel of a car and you make these decisions. You just have to be very careful that your actions don’t do something that’s going to hurt somebody else.”

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. Police were still interviewing people to sort out the timeline, determine whether the vehicle was on fire at that point and how fast the fire spread.

Eventually, the SUV was fully engulfed.

All five students were members of the Corner Canyon mountain biking team.

A woman who lives near the spot where the accident occurred said she wants Draper officials to get rid of a bump on the side of the road that she said teenagers drive over quickly to catch air.

"Something needs to be done. Teenagers need to see this so they'll know that this is something they shouldn't be doing," Patricia White said.

Contributing: Ladd Egan.


Pat Reavy
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