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Good Samaritan tries to chase hit-and-run suspect in West Valley City

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

WEST VALLEY CITY — A witness is recounting trying to follow a hit-and-run driver after the driver killed an 11-year- old boy in West Valley City and took off.

West Valley police arrested a man Friday in connection with the incident.

Police said the truck, which they described as a silver Toyota Tacoma or similar style, hit the boy as he walked with his mother south on 4000 West near 4200 South around 11:40 p.m. Wednesday.

"They had gone downtown and done some sightseeing, they rode the bus home, they got off at the bus stop and started walking home," explained Roxeanne Vainuku, West Valley police deputy director of communications.

A man who said he was driving immediately behind that truck saw the entire crash. So did his wife and children.

He described a silver 2012 or newer Nissan Titan or full-size truck, driving normally on 4000 West headed south. He said the mother and son were walking off of the sidewalk along the road and the truck veered off the road right where they happened to be. "I heard the crunch and saw something fly off to the side," he explained.

The witness, who did not want to be publicly identified, realized the truck hit the boy. "We ended up seeing a woman crying for her baby," the man explained. "My lady jumped out to help there at the scene. As her door shut, I took off to try to catch up to the guy to get a license plate."


The Good Samaritan said his wife stayed with the mom, who was screaming. The wife jumped in to help with chest compressions and keep the boy alive. He would later be pronounced deceased at the hospital.

The witness followed the truck down 4000 West and into Kearns. The man described how the hit-and-run driver drove into a neighborhood in the area of 5135 South and 4420 West, making twists and turns.

"I flashed my brights a couple of times and I honked my horn when I was getting closer to him, and that's when he sped off from me," the Good Samaritan recounted. With his children in the back seat, he couldn't continue following the pickup truck for safety reasons.

I flashed my brights a couple of times and I honked my horn when I was getting closer to him, and that's when he sped off from me.

–Witness to hit-and-run crash

He lost sight of the truck and never got the license plate. He did, however, get a glimpse of the damage done to the truck.

"It did have front-end damage," he said. "I was able to see the front bumper kind of swaying off in the air as I was following him."

Investigators searched for any surveillance video that may show the truck, Vainuku indicated, as they worked to track down the driver.

Vainuku said they do not plan to release the name of the boy who was hit and killed.

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Lauren Steinbrecher
Lauren Steinbrecher is an Emmy award-winning reporter and multimedia journalist who joined KSL in December 2021.


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