WOODRUFF, Rich County — Speed and inexperienced driving are believed to be the main factors in a crash that sent a car full of teenagers — including two in the trunk — to the hospital after their vehicle rolled off the side of a canyon road and landed in a tree.
The crash happened just after midnight on state Route 39 in the area known as the Monte Cristo Scenic Drive. Four boys and three girls, all between the ages of 14 and 17, were driving at an estimated 70 mph on the 40 mph road in a Honda Accord, said Weber County Sheriff's Lt. Matt Jensen. The driver is 16.
"Sounds like they were just out for a ride and went to the top of Monte and then turned around. And on the way down … sounds like they were going way too fast. Failed to navigate a turn. And basically launched off the edge and tumbled down to where a tree had stopped them," Jensen said.
The vehicle landed upside down in a tree and was still suspended in the tree when rescuers arrived. If not for the tree breaking their fall, Jensen said the results could have been worse. The car landed approximately 180 feet away from the road, he said.
One teen was ejected from the vehicle. Another had to crawl up the steep side of the canyon to get to the main road to get cell reception to call 911, according to police.
Four medical helicopters were called to the scene. Four teens were taken by helicopter to local hospital, and three by ambulance. Once they were evaluated, two of the teens were sent to Primary Children's Hospital in critical conditions, Jensen said.
Neither drugs nor alcohol were suspected of being factors, he said. Jensen called it a tragic incident involving young, inexperienced drivers.
Police didn't comment on why the two teenagers were in the trunk.