STOP FOR STUDENTS

Unified police search for hit-and-run driver who hit Magna teen

Dec 5, 2023, 6:04 PM | Updated: Dec 6, 2023, 6:40 am

MAGNA, Salt Lake County — The Unified Police Department is searching for the driver they say hit a 13-year-old girl and then took off.

Police say it happened at approximately 6:30 a.m. Tuesday at the intersection of 3500 South and Montclair Street, near Matheson Junior High School.

Unified police and eyewitnesses said that the driver did not stop to help the girl, Kaisley Raybourne, or report the crash to authorities. They believe the driver was in a white, older model of a Dodge Caravan.

“There’s a crosswalk with the flashing yellow lights when you hit the button, and she remembers pressing that. It flashed for her to walk, and she remembers waking up on the sidewalk,” said the victim’s stepfather, Kevin Varian.

An eyewitness, Danyelle Johnson, said she vividly remembers seeing those flashing pedestrian lights.

“I was driving eastbound down 3500 South, and I saw the flashing lights for the crosswalk, and there was a car in front of me, maybe a quarter mile, maybe even closer,” Johnson said. “I see him stop and veer off to the right up against the curb. I creep forward and see this girl lying on the ground.”

The intersection of 3500 South and Montclair Street where 13-year-old Kaisley Raybourne was hit. (KSL TV)

Johnson said she called 911 and helped the girl get onto the curb. She said she comforted Raybourne and asked her questions while they waited for first responders to arrive.

“She is trying to inch herself onto the sidewalk, so I’m trying to help her and not move her as much as possible,” she said.

Raybourne’s parents said their daughter is scraped and bruised. Doctors told her family they’re waiting to see if X-rays will show broken bones.

“She’s having a hard time with her shoulder, and there’s growth plates in there, the doctor was saying, and those might have been fractured. It’s hard to tell,” Varian said. “She’s in a sling right now. She’s bruised on one side of her, road rash all up and down her. Her face is getting pretty swollen now.”

Kaisley was taken to the hospital but is now recovering at home.

As a professional driver himself, Varian said he’s angry that someone hit his child when she had the right of way. He said this person needs to take responsibility.

“Accidents happen, I understand, but if you do something like that, especially hitting a kid, hitting a person, it’s like, why would you keep driving? Why wouldn’t you go back?” he said.

Kaisley’s stepfather, Kevin Varian, speaking to KSL TV about the accident. (KSL TV)

Police and eyewitnesses don’t know if this driver was a man or a woman or what they were wearing. Johnson said she saw the driver stop temporarily after the crash.

“About probably another quarter mile, I could see a white van, and I could see somebody get out of the car, kind of walk around, and then got back in the car, and they drove away,” she said.

Varian said he and his wife want the driver to take responsibility.

“If they do get caught, I hope they do. It’s going to be worse for them now if they had just stopped,” he said.

Johnson, who is a teacher, said distracted driving around children has become a major issue.

“To drivers, you really, really need to be aware,” she said. “It’s not OK… I would hate for anyone else to be hit or go through this whole scenario for it to click.”

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Unified police search for hit-and-run driver who hit Magna teen