Teen dies after crashing moped in Provo church parking lot

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PROVO — A Pleasant Grove High School student died Saturday from injuries suffered in a moped crash at a church parking lot the day before, officials said.

Colby Gruel, 17, was identified Tuesday as the teen involved in the Friday evening crash. He was set to finish his junior year at Pleasant Grove High Thursday, according to Alpine School District spokeswoman Kimberly Bird. Grief counselors are being made available by the district for anyone who needs them, she said.

Shortly before 10 p.m. Friday, emergency crews responded to a report that a 17-year-old boy had fallen off a moped at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints multi-stake center parking lot located at 350 N. 900 East, Provo Police Sgt. Nisha King said.

Gruel was with a group of people in the parking lot when the crash happened. He was not wearing a helmet and suffered head injuries, King added. Gruel was transported to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, where he died the following evening.

The cause of that crash remains under investigation, although it appears to be an accident, King said.

"We don't know a whole lot, other than he was obviously driving in the parking lot," she said. "You can see the skid marks. But part of the investigation, we'll have to figure out the speed and whatnot. It doesn't look like there was anything suspicious."

In a Facebook post, Provo police thanked hospital staff for keeping the teen alive long enough to allow his family to say goodbye.

“While this is truly a heartbreaking incident, we appreciate medical staff working so hard to be able to give one last moment for the family,” police wrote in the post.

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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers general news, outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com.


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