4-Year-Old Killed At Salt Lake Intersection; Driver Suspected Of DUI
Nov 16, 2019, 6:43 PM | Updated: Nov 17, 2019, 8:34 am
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A 4-year-old boy was hit and killed while in a Salt Lake City intersection Saturday morning.
The crash happened at 900 West and California Avenue. The boy was with his mother, who was also hit and rushed to a nearby hospital with leg injuries.
Investigators with the Salt Lake City Police Department were investigating to see if the driver ran a red light, was speeding, or possibly driving while under the influence of alcohol.
That driver stopped at the scene of the crash, where he was detained and arrested by police.
“We have a male driver being investigated for possible DUI right now,” said Lt. Brett Olsen. “I don’t know anything at this time about the traffic signals. We have our accident reconstruction team that is comprised of multiple agencies. They’re on scene and doing the full investigation.”
Michael Clara, who lives nearby, rushed to help right after the crash.
He said as soon as he saw the boy, he knew it was too late to try and save him.
Clara, who calls himself a community organizer for the neighborhood, said the intersection is dangerous and one he has been fighting the city over for the past two years.
“After seeing this, it mentally impacts you to see this. But then, I’m looking at this, and I want to stop this. This kind of stuff is going to keep happening,” said Clara. “I believe this is going to continue if we don’t get an intervention.”
Two years ago, Salt Lake City reduced two lanes into one to create a turning lane at a traffic light.
The city also did what’s known as a “road diet” where the painted lines were moved in to try and slow drivers down and make the area safer.
Matthew Rojas, a spokesperson for the city, said although data shows the number of rear-end crashes from distracted driving has continued to increase after the road diet, the number of auto-pedestrian and bicyclist accidents have decreased.
Clara said the road diet wasn’t right for the amount of traffic on the road, and only adds to road rage and driver frustration, which he feels makes this spot more dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists.
“I’m not doing this for a personal thing. This is my community and we’ve been trying to address this for two years,” said Clara. “It’s tragic that it has come to this.”
Rojas pointed out that, if indeed this was a drunk driver, that’s where the blame is.
Police will continue to investigate the crash.
“This is just a good reminder for everybody to just watch what you’re doing that you really don’t have to be in that much of a hurry when you’re driving somewhere,” said Lt. Olsen.
The family identified the 4-year-old as Holden Curtis. In a GoFundMe, the family wrote:
Sweet, sweet Holden was taken far too soon. He was hit by a drunk driver when he was riding his bike across a crosswalk. He touched so many lives and was taken at the young age of 4, just two months short of turning 5. He was the happiest, best friend that anyone could ask for. He had a joy for life that was contagious to all he came in contact with. He touched so many lives in his short time on Earth, and it is hard to imagine continuing on without him. Anything is appreciated as the parents of Holden will have to take time off work and cover many expenses associated with this tragedy.