Driver of SUV full of unbuckled kids involved in fatal crash had previously been cited for unrestrained children

Posted at 5:20 PM, Sep 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-04 19:20:07-04

WEST VALLEY CITY -- Police have confirmed that none of the occupants of an SUV carrying an adult and 8 children that was involved in a fatal crash Thursday were wearing seat belts, and records indicate the driver of the SUV had been ticketed last year for driving with unrestrained children in the car.

The SUV was hit on Redwood Road as the driver attempted to make a left turn onto Research Way, and 3-year-old Paisley Hayden was ejected and killed in the crash while a 2-year-old boy suffered serious injuries.

The driver of the sedan that hit the SUV may have broken an arm, but there were no other major injuries as a result of the crash.

The SUV was being driven by the mother of the child who died, and that driver was identified as 23-year-old Carolyn Hughes of Salt Lake City.

Police records indicate Hughes was ticketed by the Utah Highway Patrol in May of 2014 for driving with children who were not restrained properly. The incident occurred on I-80 near mile post 140 in Summit County, and a trooper stated Hughes had three children believed to be between the ages of 1 and 3 unrestrained in the car.

When the trooper asked Hughes why the children were unbuckled, she replied that she was driving her brother's car. She was issued a warning for a headlight violation and a citation for not using a child restraint device, according to the notes from the trooper involved in last year's stop.

While officers have not yet stated who is at fault in Thursday's crash, they said the fatal accident is an important reminder about the importance of seat belts.

"We try to educate the public when we can because it's really about the safety of those kids," said Sgt. Joshua Brown, West Valley City PD. "Because just a simple car accident that could end up being property damage can end up being very serious if they're not properly restrained."

The crash remains under investigation, click here for more details about the incident.