2 seriously injured after SUV crashes into church lawn, catches fire

Posted at 5:38 PM, Mar 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-07 19:48:26-05

KEARNS, Utah -- The actions of quick-thinking witnesses are being credited in saving the lives of two people who were in an SUV that caught fire after rolling several times and crashing in front of an LDS Church meetinghouse.

The crash occurred around 1:20 p.m. Saturday when an SUV with two people inside that was traveling westbound on Sands Boulevard somehow lost control, crashed through a fence, and hit a tree before coming to rest on the lawn of a church owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The car ignited, and Det. Ken Hansen of the Unified Police Department said witnesses sprang into action.

“Bystanders watching this, and someone in the church who heard it, immediately got the people inside of the vehicle out,” he said. “One of the people inside the church actually brought a fire extinguisher and tried putting the fire out, especially in the area around the two occupants."

Both occupants of the SUV were taken to a hospital in serious condition. Police said they are investigating the crash and are considering excessive speed or impaired driving as possible factors.

Hansen said if the SUV hadn’t hit the tree, things might have been worse.

"Had that tree not been there, there's a good chance that vehicle would have actually maybe gotten into the church, where there was a funeral going on,” he said. “That could have... instead of just catching the shrubs on fire, it perhaps could have caught the structure on fire."