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Friends, family react to death of teen killed in Taylorsville crash

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - May 16th, 2018 @ 11:24am


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TAYLORSVILLE — Tributes filled social media Wednesday as friends and family continued to mourn the death of a 14-year-old girl killed in a rollover crash early Tuesday.

Nevaeh Padilla, of Taylorsville, was in the passenger seat of a Chevy Trailblazer being driven by Casey Cook Ziemelis, 18, when the car went into oncoming traffic near 4500 South and Atherton Drive (1100 West), and hit another vehicle head-on.

The impact from the crash caused the Trailblazer to roll. Nevaeh was killed. Three others were taken to local hospitals in serious condition. Another juvenile girl in the SUV was not injured.

Ziemelis was arrested for investigation of DUI/automobile homicide and two counts of aggravated assault.

Amazingly, a couple in the other vehicle walked away with only bumps and bruises, according to police.

A GoFundMe account* was set up on Tuesday by a family friend to help cover funeral costs.

"I can't imagine the pain my friend feels and I am willing to do anything to help and if you can find it in your heart to help with whatever you can we will be forever grateful. I remember when (Nevaeh's mother) was pregnant with Nevaeh and picked out her name. She told me it was Heaven spelled backwards. Fly high in heaven baby girl, I know your grandma Julie was waiting for you with open arms," the account says.

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Police had twice come in contact with the same SUV earlier in evening prior to the crash. The first time was about 10:30 p.m. Monday when officers received a call of a reckless driver near 3900 South and 500 East. Nearby officers spotted the vehicle near 3900 South and Main. But when they tried to pull it over, the Trailblazer sped off. The officers did not pursue it at that time.

About 12:45 a.m. Tuesday, police were called to an apartment complex in Millcreek to check on suspicious activity. As officers approached the vehicle, a group of young people jumped in and sped off, according to police. The crash was reported just after 1:10 a.m.

*KSL.com does not assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Pat Reavy, KSL

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