Police: Spanish Fork teen seriously injured after falling out of an SUV

Feb 23, 2024, 10:20 PM | Updated: Feb 24, 2024, 1:57 pm

SPANISH FORK — Police said a 16-year-old boy was seriously injured after falling out of a moving SUV on Friday.

Just before 9:00 a.m., Spanish Fork police officers responded near 400 E. 100 North on an initial report of an auto-pedestrian collision.

Spanish Fork police Lieutenant Cory Slaymaker said investigators soon found out it was a different circumstance, as relayed by vehicle passengers and witnesses.

“This kid opens the door, and he’s halfway out, and all of a sudden, he’s all of the way out, rolling in the middle of the road,” said Larry Hathaway, who watched it all unfold in his rearview mirror before turning around and seeing if he could help. “It made me sick to see that guy fall out of the Jeep.”

Hathaway recalling the accident in his studio.

Hathaway recalls the accident in his studio. (KSL TV)

According to Slaymaker, the five people in the Jeep Grand Cherokee had “skipped out” on an assembly at Spanish Fork High School and turned from Center Street onto 400 East.

“The front-seat passenger opened up the door to lean out for some reason,” Slaymaker said. “He grabbed ahold of a handle above the door, and while leaning out, that handle broke, and he fell out of the vehicle.”

Slaymaker said the 16-year-old suffered serious injuries and was admitted into a hospital’s intensive care unit, but as of Friday evening, was showing some positive signs, including speaking with his parents.

The boy’s injuries were still being evaluated, but Slaymaker said police were grateful the situation didn’t end even worse for him.

“It could have been very catastrophic — even life-threatening,” Slaymaker said.

Hathaway also said he hoped the teen recovered.

“I thought, ‘God, I hope he makes it, I hope he doesn’t die’ — just a young kid,” Hathaway said. “It was just the pits.”

Both men are urging all drivers and passengers to take care on the roads.

“It should have never happened,” Hathaway said. “They should have been in the classroom, and they weren’t.”

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Police: Spanish Fork teen seriously injured after falling out of an SUV