6 students hit when car drives on sidewalk

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KEARNS -- Six students walking home from Kearns Jr. High Wednesday afternoon were hit by a car after it jumped the curb and drove down the sidewalk. It happened near 5600 South and 4000 West.

The driver is 50-year-old Luka Wall Kang. His car is registered out of Arizona, but he recently moved to Kearns, where he lives alone. He's in the hospital and able to talk with investigators, but they still don't know what went wrong.

"He didn't say anything. He honked once, but I didn't think anything of it ‘cause I thought it was over there on the street," Leonardo Flores said.

Out of nowhere, the car came up behind Flores. "I felt a force, like, pushing me. And when I got on the hood, and when I fell off, I landed on my leg," he said.

Investigators say, the driver, Luka Wall Kang, was going less than 20 miles an hour, but Flores says even after the impact, Kang showed no signs of slowing down. The sidewalk became his street.

"He accelerates as he keeps on going. The further he goes, he accelerates more," Flores said.

Kearns Jr. High had just let out, and the sidewalks were full of kids. Witnesses watched in horror as Kang plowed into more of them.

"At some point here, one of the children who is on the hood flies off of the car, and the car actually travels over that particular child," said Lt. Don Hutson, spokesman for the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Witness Calvin Kincaid said, "I heard 'Boom,' hit that other deal, missed a bunch of kids on the street, flipped it over like that and threw the one kid off into the field."

Kincaid rushed to help driver after his white Toyota Camry hit a wall and rolled on its top. He cut his arm, trying to pull Kang out of the smoking car.

Witnesses say Kang appeared to be disoriented. "When I went up the street, he was on the ground, shaking, trembling. His hands were on his chest," Flores said.

When it was all over, six kids were hit; three of them were taken to the hospital.

"I consider myself lucky, seeing the other ones," Flores said.

"He could have killed a lot of kids," Kincaid said.

All the kids who were hit are expected to be OK.

Investigators are still trying to figure out exactly what happened. They say there are no obvious signs of alcohol and they're looking at everything from a medical condition to drugs.

The sheriff's office would like more witnesses to come forward. If you saw the crash, call the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office at 801-743-5862.


Story compiled with contributions from Sandra Yi, Alex Cabrero and Paul Nelson.


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