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HERRIMAN -- Three teenage girls are in the hospital -- one in critical condition -- after a crash near Herriman High School.
The three girls, ages 16 and 17, were in a vehicle attempting to turn left onto 11800 South near 6000 West around 7:30 a.m. when they were struck by a pickup truck heading east, Unified Police Lt. Don Hutson said. Hutson said the result was a "dramatic collision" that left the 16-year-old front passenger in extremely critical condition.
Hutson said she was transported by medical helicopter to IMC Hospital.
"She is still extremely critical," Hutson said around 11 a.m.
The teen suffered "significant" injuries to her lower legs as well as head trauma, he said. She is currently alive and stable.
The other two girls sustained what appeared to be minor injuries and were transported by ambulance to Riverton Hospital. The driver of the pickup was uninjured. Police do not believe the accident was caused by the sun or other distractions, such as text messaging.
"It appears it was just one of those where there was a big line of cars and they're all in the mindset ‘we're turning into the school' and probably just didn't see it," Hutson said.
He said it appears that the 17-year-old teen driver simply misjudged how much time she had to make the turn, although a "complete and thorough investigation" will be conducted into the incident.
It is unknown at this time whether speed may have been a factor. Hutson noted that high schools do not have the school zone speed restrictions that would be seen around an elementary or middle school.
He said all "T-bone accidents" are "extremely dangerous and extremely volatile."
Witnesses in a car that turned left just before the one that was hit told police they thought they had cut it close turning in front of the pickup, but the compact vehicle followed them.
Some classmates stopped to survey the damage after hearing about the crash, not knowing who was involved. They were unnerved by the accident.
"Students are kind of crazy when they drive," one said.
Herriman High School principal Jim Birch said this was the first crash at that spot. This is the school's first year in operation.
Investigators expect 11800 South to remain closed near 6000 West for a few hours.
Any citations that may be issued in connection with the crash will be issued only after the investigation is complete.
Story compiled with contributions from Emiley Morgan and Andrew Adams.