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Police arrest unlicensed driver accused of killing 2 BYU students

An unlicensed driver who was allegedly trying to "beat the light" when he crashed into another vehicle, killing two BYU students, was booked into the Utah County Jail on Wednesday.

An unlicensed driver who was allegedly trying to "beat the light" when he crashed into another vehicle, killing two BYU students, was booked into the Utah County Jail on Wednesday. (Shutterstock)



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OREM — An unlicensed driver who was allegedly trying to "beat the light" when he crashed into another vehicle, killing two BYU students, was booked into the Utah County Jail on Wednesday.

Ceasar Castellon-Flores, 20, of Orem, was arrested for investigation of two counts of manslaughter, negligent collision, reckless driving, speeding and two counts of not obtaining a license.

Friday night, a crash at the intersection of 400 S. State in Orem killed Hailee York, 21, of Lehi, and Ashlyn Hanzon, 21, of Pearland, Texas. The women were in a Chevy Malibu making a left turn onto State Street when a Jeep Cherokee allegedly tried to speed through the intersection after it turned yellow, according to a police booking affidavit.

"The light was reported to have changed from green to yellow. It was observed from witnesses the Jeep Cherokee had increased its speed in an attempt to clear the intersection at the yellow light," the affidavit states.

Police detectives collected surveillance video from nearby businesses and observed the Jeep approaching the intersection at a high rate of speed, according to the affidavit.

"The Jeep was observed passing surrounding vehicles also traveling southbound at a much faster speed," the affidavit states. "The Jeep is then observed striking the Chevy Malibu on the passenger side of the vehicle with its front end in the middle of the intersection."

Police noted that the driver of the Jeep, Castellon-Flores, actually passed other cars in front of him that were in the process of slowing and stopping for the traffic signal. Investigators determined that Castellon-Flores was traveling 68 mph in a 40 mph zone, and then increased his speed to 73 mph once the light turned yellow, according to the affidavit. When he realized he was about to hit another car, the Jeep was only able to reduce its speed to 67 mph before the collision, the affidavit states.

Castellon-Flores is an undocumented citizen, according to police, and appeared to officers to be "making an attempt to flee or elude police" when they came to his house after the investigation to look for him.

"Ceasar had to be apprehended by a traffic stop showing an intent to flee. Ceasar has shown an inability to cooperate with officers during the investigation during his initial interview after the accident at the hospital and after he was apprehended," according to the affidavit.

Correction: A previous version stated Hailee York lived in Indiana. She had moved to Lehi several years ago and that was still her home at the time of her death.

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