Utah teen recounts being thrown in auto-pedestrian crash that killed his sister


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LEHI — A 13-year-old boy hit by a car in Lehi recounts the horror of that day. Kevin Hernandez and his older sister Arely Hernandez, 15, were both hit, and sadly she did not survive.

The two were hit at the busy Lehi intersection of 2100 North and 3600 West late Friday afternoon. They were on their way to a Maverik gas station across the street from their neighborhood to buy some snacks.

The car which was heading east actually came up on the sidewalk while the two were waiting to cross the street. The driver took out a pole and hit the siblings. The family is being told that the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

"I felt like I was flying and hit the ground really hard. I opened my eyes a little bit and saw that she was far away from me," said an emotional Kevin to KSL. "I feel very upset that I lost one of my family members."

Kevin recently got home from the hospital and is recovering from severe bruising.

Arely and Kevin are from Fresno, California, and had been living with their sister Raquel Vastbinder and her family in Lehi while they attend school in Utah. They had been here for about seven months. Raquel's husband, Ethan, just happened to be stuck in traffic and ran up to the scene and saw it was Arley and Kevin.

"It was a horrific scene to know that they were standing at the light and that the car destroyed a post and sent Kevin 50 feet away and then about 25 to 50 feet from him was Arely," said Ethan to KSL. "I was able to tell her that we loved her. Able to caress her face … she was so fun to be around. It wasn't a chore to be with her, everybody wanted to."

Ethan called his wife Raquel who then came running from the neighborhood.

"I got there fast and they were just so far away from each other and I was losing my mind going back and forth to see if they are OK," said an emotional Raquel. "They did everything right. They asked permission to go out there. They were crossing the street right. It's not like they were running a stop sign … I grew up with her. She was like my little baby we did everything together. She was just an amazing person."

The Vastbinders don't believe it's a dangerous intersection. "It's not dangerous; it should have never happened — it was a freak accident," said Ethan.

"She just made you feel special," said Ilene Hernandez, an older sister of Arely who came into town from Fresno. "I'm glad I was blessed enough to have her. Blessed enough to have her as a sister and blessed enough to have a lifetime with her. She was the most loving kindest person in this world. She was too perfect for this world."

The funeral is being planned to take place in Fresno. The family has set up a GoFundMe* account for those wanting to help with expenses.


*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 advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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