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10-year-old boy, father dead after multi-car crash in Moab; Driver arrested

By Jen Riess and Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Updated - Feb. 12, 2020 at 8:15 a.m. | Posted - Feb. 9, 2020 at 10:15 p.m.


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MOAB — Police say a reckless driver collided with several cars in Moab on Sunday evening, killing a 10-year-old boy and his father and injuring another woman.

Moab City Police Department tweeted about the accident just after 8:30 p.m. The agency said three cars were involved in the crash between Center Street and 100 North, but said several vehicles received damage.

Moab police later identified the man killed in the crash as 45-year-old Vilsar Camey. His 10-year-old son, Israel Camey, suffered severe injuries and later died, police reported Wednesday.

A Utah Highway Patrol trooper first located the driver of a white Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, heading north on U.S. Highway 191 about three miles south of Moab shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday, according to a jail report. The truck was going 78 mph in a 55 mph zone when the trooper encountered it, and he attempted to make a traffic stop, the jail report said.

The trooper was following the car at 102 mph, but later stopped pursuing the car because it ran a red light and was entering Moab City limits, according to the report.

A Grand County Sheriff's deputy saw the truck traveling through Moab in the left turn lane in the center of the highway. The truck was traveling at 80 mph in 30-35 mph speed zones, the report states.

The truck then crashed into a Chevy Tahoe at the intersection of Center Street and Highway 191, known as Main Street in Moab.

The truck, turning left, then crashed into a GMC Envoy that was heading south, according to the report. The truck then crashed into a building at 7 N. Main Street. Sheriff's deputies who responded to the scene detained the driver of the truck, identified as 41-year-old Benjamin Thomas Balls, according to the report.

Deputies found Balls under the vehicle after he crawled out of the passenger seat of the truck, according to the report. He told deputies that he was not wearing a seatbelt and "previously had a drug problem," the report states.

Vilsar Camey, who was the driver of the Tahoe, died at the scene, police said.

Israel Camey, who was a passenger in the Tahoe, suffered critical, life-threatening injuries, the report states. The driver of the Envoy, a pregnant woman, was taken to a hospital. Further information on the severity of her injuries was not available.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Camey family. The page indicates Vilsar Camey was a pastor in the area and is survived by his wife and another son.

Counselors will be available to students in Grand County School District schools on Wednesday following Israel Camey's death, Moab police said.

Balls was booked into the Grand County Jail early Monday morning on suspicion of manslaughter and failing to respond to an officer's signal to stop, both second-degree felonies. He also was booked on suspicion of reckless driving, providing false information and criminal mischief, all misdemeanors, as well as several traffic infractions.

Police said Wednesday that any criminal charges brought against Balls likely would be amended to reflect Israel Camey's death.

Main Street was closed between 100 North and 100 South but Moab police tweeted that it had opened shortly after midnight Monday.

Photos

Jen Riess
Jacob Klopfenstein

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