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All 9 people inside SUV were unrestrained in fatal crash, police say

By Ben Lockhart | Posted - Sep. 3, 2015 at 10:26 p.m.


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WEST VALLEY CITY — A 3-year-old girl was killed in a collision Thursday afternoon on Redwood Road, police said.

The girl was in an SUV that was turning west from Redwood Road onto 2700 South about 4:30 p.m. when it was hit by a Nissan passenger car.

The SUV reportedly flipped onto its side and upright again before landing partially on top of the Nissan. The girl, identified as Paisley Hayden, was ejected in the crash, said West Valley police spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku.

A 2-year-old boy was also critically injured in the crash and taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance, Vainuku said. He suffered major injuries to his leg.

Eight children from multiple families were in the SUV at the time, and nobody in the vehicle was wearing a seat belt, according to police.

Police were investigating Thursday which vehicle was at fault in the collision. Investigators will try to determine the status of the traffic light when the crash occurred, Vainuku said.

Some of the other children and the SUV driver, identified as 23-year-old Carolyn Hughes, of Salt Lake City, received bumps and scratches and were treated at the scene, according to Vainuku. Hughes is Hayden's mother, the spokeswoman said.

The man driving the Nissan, 21-year-old Josue Diaz-Cruz, of West Valley City, suffered a broken arm in the crash. Diaz-Cruz was wearing a seat belt, Vainuku said.

Mary Ashton, the mother of three of the children in the crash, said she had asked Hughes to give them a ride home.

"That's how we found out because she was on her way with the children to drop them off to me," Ashton said. "We saw the ambulance and everything and someone else received a phone call, so we came running down."

None of Ashton's children, ages 5, 3 and 18 months, suffered major injuries. She was in tears Thursday as she talked about the guilt accompanying the death of her friend's daughter.

"It wasn't a regular thing for (my children) to be driving with her," Ashton said.

Southbound Redwood Road was closed to traffic between 2500 South and 2700 South throughout early Thursday evening. Commuters on the Utah Transit Authority TRAX Green Line were told to expect delays. The road was re-opened and regular TRAX service resumed around 8 p.m.

A medical helicopter was initially called to the scene but was later canceled.

Contributing: Brianna Bodily

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Ben Lockhart

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