WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (KUTV) — Several homes were evacuated after a stolen car driven by a 15-year-old struck and killed a man before hitting the side of a house and rupturing a gas line in West Valley City.
The incident happened around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday at 3300 Lehi Drive in West Valley City.
According to Roxeanne Vainuku with West Valley City Police Department, an officer spotted a stolen vehicle at the intersection of 3100 S and Redwood Rd. The officer, driving an unmarked car, began to follow the vehicle, clarifying that it was not a pursuit. The stolen vehicle turned onto 3100 S and headed westbound, eventually entering a neighborhood.
In the area of Lehi Drive, the stolen vehicle came to a stop. At this point, Vainuku said three individuals exited the car, including two passengers and the driver. As police started arriving at the scene, the driver got back into the vehicle.
According to Vainuku, the two passengers fled but were later taken into custody by police.
In response to the driver reentering the car, another officer allegedly deployed spike strips into the street. The suspect tried to flee the scene, running over the spike strips and then rounding a curve at a high rate of speed causing him to collide with a police vehicle.
Vainuku said the driver then lost control, continued through a yard of one home, crashed through a chainlink fence into a second yard, and ultimately smashed into the front room of that house, causing extensive damage.
A 24-year-old man who was standing in front of the second house was struck by the stolen car and died as a result of the collision. The stolen vehicle then proceeded through a third fence into another yard and collided with another vehicle before finally coming to a stop.
Police, who were a few hundred yards behind, maintained that no pursuit took place. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the suspect lying on the ground outside the vehicle and promptly took them into custody.
The incident resulted in a sheared off gas line. As a precautionary measure, approximately five houses in the area were evacuated due to the gas leak.
Crews are currently working to repair the damaged gas line and have begun tearing up parts of the road to facilitate the necessary repairs.
Vainuku confirmed the suspects involved in the incident have been identified as a 17-year-old male, a 16-year-old female, and the 15-year-old driver.
Authorities are continuing their investigation into the incident, while efforts are underway to repair the damage caused and restore gas services to the affected area.