Street racing leads to fatal crash in Ogden Canyon

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OGDEN CANYON -- A teenage girl died Thursday afternoon when the car she was in went off the road and struck a tree. Investigators say it appears the driver of her car was racing another car.

Doug Mortensen says many cars end up losing control in Ogden Canyon. He would know because he lives there.

"It is a problem. We see it all the time," Mortensen said. "People in the river actually clip off telephone poles."

But Thursday's accident, which was just up the road from Mortensen's house, is about as bad as it gets. It happened on State Road 39 near the spillway at Pineview Reservoir.

"I walked up just as they were putting the blanket on the person," Mortensen said.

That person, a teenage girl, was killed after the Acura she was in smashed into a tree. Investigators think the accident was caused by street racing.

Weber County sheriff's Lt. Phillip Howell says two cars were heading down the canyon when they both approached a minivan.

"Both cars tried to pass the van on either side of the van," Howell explained.

One driver lost control and crashed. The teenage girl was in his car and died at the scene.

The driver was flown to the hospital. Two other passengers got out of the car and got a ride to the hospital from a friend who was following.

The driver of the red car kept going.

"There was a red Honda that was racing the black Acura that left the scene," Howell said. "We're following up on some leads right now to try and identify that vehicle."

But nothing will change what happened -- something that so easily could have been prevented.

"Our beautiful little canyon, and to have something like that happen is just a tragedy," Mortensen said.

Police have not yet released the name of the girl who died or the driver of the car she was in. That driver has some serious injuries and was unconscious when flown to the hospital.

Police say the people in the two cars may have known each other.

Ogden Canyon was closed for a few hours while crews cleaned up the accident scene.


Story compiled with contributions from Alex Cabrero and Cleon Wall.


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