PROVO, Utah – A 4-month-old girl was killed in a car accident when the SUV she was riding in hit a tree and rolled onto its side, and the driver was arrested for charges including DUI and automobile homicide.
The crash took place around 4 a.m. Thursday on Oakmont Lane in Provo.
"It's a terrible tragedy and it's a preventable one; there is a 4-month-old whose life was cut short in an entirely preventable accident," said Sgt. Brian Taylor with the Provo Police Dept.
The infant, Brylee McClellan, was in the back seat, being held by her mother, 38-year-old Susanne McClellan.
"It seems that Susanne and Brylee moved forward in the vehicle and struck the windshield," Taylor said. "Police had to pry their way through the windshield in order to extract those people."
Brylee was flown to Primary Children's Hospital where she was pronounced dead a few hours later. Susanne remains in the hospital with head and neck injuries.
"Any number of common sense measures would have prevented this," Taylor said.
Police say no one in the vehicle was wearing a seatbelt, and there was no car seat for the child in the car. The driver, 29-year-old Chelsea Fuller, had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit according to the Breathalyzer test. She was arrested and charged with automobile homicide.
"It just makes me sick, it's heart breaking to me, in any situation, just losing a little baby like that, when it's completely senseless," said Aaron Cobia of Provo.
Cobia lives right up the street from where the crash took place. He wonders how bad this could have been if it happened during the day.
"My kids play in these fields all the time right here, occasionally a ball will go down into the street," he said.
Cobia's 16-year-old daughter Autumn is just learning how to drive. She says this stretch of Oakmont Lane can be dangerous even for those who are sober.
"There's no lights on this street either, so at night it's dark and it's hard to see and there is no sidewalks, so if people are walking that's dangerous too, and it's a sharp turn and people normally take it really fast," she said.
Susanne McClellan is facing reckless endangerment charges once she is released from the hospital.