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SANDY — Students at Jordan High School are mourning the death of a student who died in a car crash Tuesday night. Three others were injured in the wreck but are recovering.
Many students wore gray on Wednesday in honor of 17-year-old Brandon Evans. Evans and three friends were driving down State Street when their car rolled, hit a pole, and Evans was killed.
"He's just so nice to everybody," said student Samantha Johns. "He's nice all the time, doesn't matter who you were."
Fellow students described Evans as a nice kid, a good student and an athlete with a bright future.
"Brandon was just coming out of his shell, finding out who he was, getting a group of friends and enjoying life," said Jordan High School Principal Tom Sherwood.
Lt. Jon Arnold of the Sandy Police Department said, "Anytime someone dies when you have a group of teenagers in a car together, it's a very sad thing."
Police say the group of four teens was headed north on State Street Tuesday night when something went wrong near 10200 South.
"I'm not sure if it was horseplay or what. (The driver) started swerving back and forth in the lane, lost control of the vehicle, ended up over-correcting, causing the vehicle to roll. It ended up rolling up onto the sidewalk into a light pole," Arnold said.
Evans died on scene. The front passenger in the car was flown by helicopter to University Hospital in critical condition but is said to be improving. The two teens in the back seat were taken by ambulance to local hospitals as a precaution. Both were able to get out of the car under their own strength.
Anytime someone dies when you have a group of teenagers in a car together, it's a very sad thing.
–Lt. Jon Arnold
"Based on the severity and the pictures of the accident, we're lucky the other three students were able to walk away," said Sherwood.
Evans is the third student death at Jordan High School this year. In the fall a volleyball player was killed in a car crash, and earlier this year a student committed suicide.
Sherwood said the students continue to turn to each other for support. This is the third death at the high school this year, after a volleyball player was killed in a car crash, and another student committed suicide.
"They tend to lean on each other really heavy, social media the way it is," said Sherwood. "They Facebook about it, they process it in different ways, but they all share their feelings openly and honestly."
Evans' death was also hard for the faculty at Jordan High. His cross country coach Greg Kramer fought back tears Wednesday morning talking about practice Tuesday and Evans' dedication to running.
"He had that drive," said Kramer. "He's the epitome of what you ask for as far as dedication. He was always at practice, always working hard to get better."
Kramer said Evans' teammates remembered him as an athlete who never gave up and a friend they could lean on. Those who went to school with him said Evans and the others who passed before him would be missed.
"Everyone misses them," said Johns. "But we know they're angels now and watch over us."
(Evans) had that drive. He's the epitome of what you ask for as far as dedication. He was always at practice, always working hard to get better.
–Coach Greg Kramer
Wednesday afternoon officials said two of the teens had been released from the hospital; the other one was improving and expected to be OK.
Police say all four were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. They say there was no sign of drugs or alcohol and that speed wasn't a factor. Investigators say Evans had a valid driver's license and could legally have other teens in his car.
Police warn that this tragic accident is a sad reminder for other teens to use caution when getting behind the wheel.
"You need to make sure the driver is paying attention," Arnold said. "These cars can ultimately be dangerous weapons."
Police didn't know if the teens were headed to a school function at Jordan High School when the crash occurred. They're hoping to get more information from them as their conditions improve.