SALT LAKE CITY — A 4-year-old boy died Saturday morning after being hit by a car in Salt Lake City.
The collision occurred near 900 West and California Ave. shortly before 11 a.m. Salt Lake City Police Lt. Brett Olsen said the boy’s mother was also struck by the same vehicle and suffered severe leg injuries.
The family of the boy later identified him as Holden Curtis and set up a GoFundMe* to cover funeral costs.
"He touched so many lives and was taken at the young age of 4, just two months short of turning 5," the GoFundMe page reads.
Olsen said the driver of the car was under investigation for DUI and that the victims appear to have been in the intersection when they were struck. He said police have gathered statements from several witnesses.
A Salt Lake County Jail affidavit identifies the driver as Carl Wayne Johnson, 56. The document says Johnson was arrested for investigation of automobile homicide, a second-degree felony, and DUI with serious bodily injury, a third-degree felony, among other matters.
The affidavit says the arresting officer noticed "a strong odor of alcohol" coming from Johnson's breath and identified multiple clues of impairment. Johnson said he drank two beers in the morning, according to the document.
Query results show the vehicle was not insured and was not registered under Johnson's name, the affidavit says.
A witness to the collision told KSL he rushed to help the boy when he saw the accident, but once he reached the child he said he knew it was too late.
"After seeing this, you know, it emotionally, it impacts you to see this," said Clara. "But then, you know, I'm looking at this and I want to stop this. This kind of stuff is going to keep happening."
Clara said he has been fighting the city over this "dangerous intersection" since the city reduced two lanes into one with what's known as a "road diet," where the painted lines are moved in.
"I'm not doing this for personal things, to say this is my community and we've been trying to address this for two years," said Clara.
Salt Lake City spokesperson Matthew Rojas said the data shows rear-end accidents from distracted driving have increased at this intersection even after the road diet, but there has been a decrease in auto-pedestrian and bicyclist accidents. He also pointed out that if indeed this was a drunk driver, that's where the blame is.
Contributing: Jen Riess, KSL.com
*KSL.com does not assure that the money 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.