Family Grieves After Teen Dies, Toddler Saved In Submerged Car Crash

Aug 11, 2020, 9:32 AM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Family members on Monday were remembering a 15-year-old boy who died after being submerged in a car in the Jordan Surplus Canal.

Gerald Bates said his son, Justin, passed away at the hospital from injuries suffered during the accident Saturday night near Indiana Avenue and Delong Street.

“He’s greatly loved and he will be missed for sure,” Bates said during an interview Monday evening. “He was the one that never liked going out and getting in trouble. He stayed at home. He was a really good soul—an old soul.”

According to Salt Lake City Police investigators, the woman who was driving lost control and the vehicle landed upside down in the canal.

Four children—ages 2, 15, 16 and 17—were in the car at the time and the two youngest became trapped.

“Time is of the essence in a situation like this,” said officer Miles Knapp, who took part in the rescue. “I took my duty belt off and my vest and jumped in to see how I could help out.”

Knapp said another officer told him a 2-year-old was stuck inside.

“The water was murky and I tried to go under and see if I could find a way into the car, but I couldn’t,” Knapp said. “Eventually a water rescue firefighter came with his underwater breathing gear and was able to get in and get the little girl out.”

Body camera footage released by Salt Lake City Police Department Monday documented the rescue.

“It was get the job done and make sure we do it to the best of our abilities and do it right, help try and save a life,” Knapp said.

Bates said the group had apparently been going to check out street race cars in the area when the crash took place.

“Things happen in life,” Bates said. “I lost my son but (the driver) was given back her life with her daughter.”

Bates said he was extremely grateful for the efforts of police and firefighters for doing what they could to save lives.

The family said it set up the Justin Bates Memorial at America First Credit Union to help with expenses.

“I lost Justin but I was blessed I didn’t lose another,” Bates said. “Grab your kids and cherish the moment.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

The aftermath of the 15 to 20 acre Magna fire. (Credit: Isaiah Salazar)...
Michael Houck

Firefighters battled against two smaller fires Sunday night

While fire crews battled against the Deuel Creek Fire in Centerville, other first responders handled two other blazes Sunday night.
1 day ago
An RV completely burns down on I-16, shutting down southbound traffic. (Credit: UDOT)...
Michael Houck

RV completely burns down on I-15

On Monday afternoon, an RV was engulfed in flames shutting down Interstate 15.
1 day ago
Refugees study for the US citizenship test....
Erin Cox

Rolling the dice for citizenship: Refugees join SLC English program for citizenship application

There’s a unique program here in Utah designed to help refugees and immigrants with their citizenship applications.
1 day ago
Chief Craft on Traverse...
Ladd Egan

‘It’s just primed to burn right now’: Lehi fire chief urges caution with fireworks during windy conditions

After the devastating fire in 2020, Lehi fire officials are worried about another blaze hitting their community.
1 day ago
The burn scars of the Deuel Creek Fire....
Jed Boal

‘There’s smoke everywhere’: residents recall evacuating during the Deuel Creek Fire

“I came out running and looked up, and there’s just like smoke everywhere;” residents tell their stories of evacuating late at night during the Deuel Creek fire.
1 day ago
Barnes on the USU campus. (Credit: Utah State University)...
Michael Houck

Suspect arrested for leaving lewd images across USU campus

Police booked a man for leaving pictures of his genitals and exposing himself across Utah State University's Logan campus.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Family Grieves After Teen Dies, Toddler Saved In Submerged Car Crash