After public outcry, Spanish Fork City Council vows action on intersection where two girls hit

May 22, 2024, 7:57 AM

SPANISH FORK — The Spanish Fork City Council took swift steps Tuesday evening, after a public outcry over an intersection where two girls were hit by a car last weekend.

The two girls, identified by family as best friends 13-year-old Reagan and 12-year Olivia, are hospitalized in critical condition.

Several residents pleaded for safety measures on Canyon Road and 2300 East during the public comment portion of the council meeting, saying with school being out for the summer this week, even more kids will be crossing the same intersection.

Some said they’ve been concerned about that intersection for quite some time. There is currently no crosswalk across Canyon Road in that spot.

One by one, more than a dozen citizens approached the podium to convey their emotions and call for change, demanding immediate action as the city waited for the installation of a stoplight.

Kyle James, who said he lives five houses down from the intersection, got choked up as he talked about how he’s personally responded to three accidents there, including last Saturday.

“It was one of the most horrific things I have ever seen in my life,” James recounted.

Several concerned citizens spoke during Tuesday’s Spanish Fork City Council meeting. (KSL TV)

James said he believed a section of 2300 East between Canyon Road and north to a roundabout should have never been opened without a stoplight.

“I’m here to ask that the city close the road immediately from the roundabout to Canyon Road until the light can be installed,” he said.

Other residents asked for traffic calming measures and speed signs. One man even offered to sit at the intersection with a flag and safety vest to help kids cross safely.

Family is ‘praying for miracles’ after two girls hit by car in Spanish Fork

Alexis Loreen, who explained that she is Reagan’s sister, said she agreed with all the ideas.

“Whether it’s a speed wagon, a police officer out there, something needs to be done — tonight,” she expressed.

Loreen said the council needs to gain the community’s trust back, and that people are mad.

“It’s devastating that we have had to go through this, and we are the ones that are dealing with all of this,” Loreen said.

Alexis Loreen asks for changes at the intersection where her sister was hit. (KSL TV)

After listening, council members weighed in, asking the city engineer for a speed trailer to be placed on Canyon Road. It was agreed that the police department would put the sign out first thing Wednesday morning.

The council also asked for signs to go up at the intersection directing pedestrians to cross Canyon Road down the street at a stop light.

Spanish Fork Mayor Mike Mendenhall explained that they moved up the construction timeline as well. The city said construction on the stoplight, which was already in motion well before last weekend’s incident, will begin two weeks sooner than planned.

“We’ve sped this process up just as fast as we possibly can,” Mendenhall said, in an interview with KSL TV.

The council also asked city engineer Chris Thompson if the city could close the portion of 2300 East north of the intersection until the stoplight is installed, as suggested by citizens.
While unclear if the city has the power to close that section of road, Thompson indicated that they will be looking into it in the coming days.

Measures including a speed sign trailer, signage directing pedestrians, and a potential closure of a stretch of road were requested by the council for the area of Canyon Road and 2300 East. (KSL TV)

The crowd clapped in approval of the steps.

In his interview with KSL TV, Mendenhall said he appreciated people coming to personally speak their minds.

“We appreciate them being able to express themselves, but then also give some concrete and viable ideas,” he said. “That’s what being a community is about, is listening to people and, and running that idea against other ideas and try to come up with the best one.”

Plans in place to add traffic signal to Spanish Fork intersection where two girls were hit

He talked about how he’s been in contact with both families.

“I just want the rest of the community to know how great they are,” Mendenhall said, of Reagan and Olivia. “They deserve all of our support, all of our love, our prayers, and the help that we can do on the ground to mitigate a situation from happening again.”

GoFundMe* pages for both victims have been set up for Olivia and Reagan.

Best friends Olivia (L) and Reagan (R) are hospitalized with severe injuries. (Photo courtesy: Families of Olivia and Reagan)

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

KSL 5 TV Live

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After public outcry, Spanish Fork City Council vows action on intersection where two girls hit