School community mourns loss of 11-year-old girl after crosswalk crash


SALT LAKE CITY — Families at Bonneville Elementary School are mourning the loss of a sixth grade student hit and killed by a car.

The 11-year-old’s death marks the 24th auto-pedestrian death in Salt Lake City this year.

Salt Lake City police said it happened at approximately 3:30 Wednesday — a high traffic time for school pickup.

“What we believe at this time is the 47-year-old driver was turning onto 2100 East from 1300 South,” said Sgt. Mark Wian with the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Police said they believe the girl was walking in the crosswalk when a Nissan truck hit her. Officers said the driver was turning left, and he’s cooperating with the investigation.

Gina Duncan, Bonneville Elementary’s parent teacher organization president, said the intersection is an area of concern for parents.

“That’s a route and a path that all the kids in this neighborhood take several times a week, if not daily,” she said. “There’s some businesses on that corner that are big draws for kids.”

(Shelby Lofton/KSL TV)

She said students are getting help processing the loss through the school’s crisis management plan.

“I think the community feels really lucky that today our kids have resources and support at the school who are checking on their mental health and helping them process the grief,” Duncan said.

Police said several bystanders jumped into action to try and help the girl. She was taken to the hospital where she later died.

“There were a lot of kids that were at the scene or were involved in witnessing it, and your heart really goes out to them,” Duncan said.

Police and the school district are not releasing the victim’s name. It’s spelled out in memorials and blue ribbons put up all over the neighborhood, crafted by community members.

“Nobody can imagine what this family is going through, but I know that their community loves them so much,” Duncan said.

Wian said the community needs to pull together to make all roads safer.

“This is an equally shared responsibility — the police department; those that use the road, whether it’s in a car, on foot, bicycles,” he said. “We have our motor squad that does conduct regular traffic enforcement.”

Wian said police are still investigating what led up to the crash.

“Twenty four fatalities so far this year here in Salt Lake City alone,” he said. “One life lost is one too many.”

“This is very tragic all together,” he added.

He said the department encourages families to have conversations about road safety.

“You can always have those consistent conversations with your children, or anyone in general, about safety using the roadways, making sure, looking left, looking right,” Wian said.