Army recruiters tried to save teen, follow suspect after West Jordan hit-and-run
WEST JORDAN, Utah — New information is giving insight into how a group of witnesses tried to save a 13-year-old boy who was ultimately killed in a hit-and-run in West Jordan, and how they worked to help police track down the alleged driver.
Tuesday’s crash killed Eli Mitchell, a West Jordan Middle School student, who family said was riding his bicycle home from buying treats at a nearby grocery store.
Members of the United States Army West Jordan recruiting station happened to also be heading home from work, as Eli rode his bike across the intersection at 9000 S 1510 W.
The parking lot to their office is right next to the street.
Sergeant First Class Randall Allred explained that his supervisor saw a truck run over a teen boy as the driver turned.
“Immediately my supervisor pulled over to the side of the road to assist as much as he could, whether providing CPR mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, to do everything we could for the little boy,” SFC Allred said.
Even with all the right medical training to try and save Eli, Allred described how the teen’s injuries were too severe to survive.
As that was happening, Allred described how the truck who hit Eli took off.
“One of the other recruiters at my office, he witnessed the event as well and saw the truck turn around with the bicycle still underneath the vehicle, and the driver came into our parking lot and removed the bicycle from under his vehicle,” Allred said, recounting what his Army colleagues witnessed.
A witness who wanted to remain private took a photo of the truck with the bicycle underneath. The affidavit of probable cause states that at least two witnesses took pictures of the truck with the bicycle under it, and a video showing the truck driving away.
Allred described how the other Army recruiter kept police updated on the driver after he fled.
“The other individual followed him to try to help out as much as possible, try to get on the phone with police,” he said.
The license plate number was visible in the photos, police indicated, and they were able to look the owner up from there.
It’s thanks to those witnesses, court documents indicated, that police found the alleged driver Mason Andrews Ohms at his home in Saratoga Springs.
“Mason spontaneously stated, I felt a bump and did not know what it was,” the probable cause statement reads.
Detectives say Ohms told his wife, “Something bad happened and she said that Mason said to her I didn’t see her.”
They arrested him for the offenses of automobile homicide and failure to remain at an accident involving death.
“This is an event that kind of shakes the ground of the foundation of our community, of some person that does a horrific event then has the audacity to run off,” Allred said.
Wednesday morning, the same Army recruiters who tried to save Eli’s life and stop the driver, came back to the scene and put out balloons, a candle and note for Eli’s family.
“For everyone that drives by seeing that location, like this is where it happened– and we all feel for you,” Allred said, of their message. “We’re all sorry. We offer our condolences.”
The Jordan School District said Wednesday that they brought in a crisis intervention team and counselors to West Jordan Middle School, and sent an email to the entire school in an effort to support grieving students and faculty.
Eli’s family released the statement below Wednesday evening:
“The family and friends of Eli Mitchell grieve following his death on April 26, 2022, due to a tragic auto-bicycle accident in West Jordan, Utah. Eli, age 13, was riding his bicycle home after buying treats at a local grocery store.
Eli was a kind, loving, jovial and friendly young man who had many friends. At the time of his death, he was doing two of his favorite things: riding his bicycle and having treats. Eli also loved outdoor activities including snowboarding, riding ATV’s, camping, video games, airsoft wars and activities with his friends. He was an avid reader and adults around him often had to look up words he used. Spending time with his family was so important to him. He was very close to his 16-year-old sister.
While grieving, the family takes comfort in knowing that we all see Eli again. Eli was a person of great faith for his age. Hopefully others will benefit from this tragedy as Eli was an organ donor.
Parents Jeremy and Lisa Mitchell, and the entire family, wish to express gratitude to the bystanders who tried to revive Eli along with the outstanding service beyond the call of duty from the West Jordan Police Department and paramedics. We will be forever grateful to the many unknown individuals who tried to assist him and recognize this likely had an impact on them. We also express appreciation for the great outpouring of support and sympathy from the community.
The family requests privacy during this time of mourning.”
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