Taylorsville girl fighting for life; cops say driver may have been distracted by children in car

Posted at 4:11 PM, Aug 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-08 20:09:14-04

MURRAY, Utah -- Brielle Frear is fighting. Her mother can tell as she watches her daughter lying in her hospital bed, struggling to recover from being hit by a car.

"She is a fighter," Angela Frear told FOX 13 on Monday. "She's come so far and gone through so much."

Angela wears a teal and purple ribbon, Brielle's favorite colors. The 16-year-old girl has been hospitalized at Intermountain Medical Center since July 27, when police said she and a friend were struck by a car in the middle of a Taylorsville crosswalk. Angela Frear describes her daughter's recovery as "one step forward, two steps back." She's had swelling of her brain, been in a medically-induced coma and suffered numerous broken ribs. On Monday morning, her mother said, Brielle had a seizure.

Brielle Frear (image courtesy Frear family)

Brielle Frear (image courtesy Frear family)

"We were doing good, and now we're kind of set back a little more," she said.

But there have been signs of recovery. Recently, Brielle reached out to her mother -- a sign of recognition.  Brielle has faced challenges before. For several years now, she has been fighting leukemia. Still, her mother said, she has not let it get her down.

The Unified Police Department said Brielle and a friend were in the crosswalk on the night of July 27 when they were hit by a car. Investigators believe the driver was distracted, but not by a cell phone.

"The woman driving had children in the backseat and something to do with those children may have distracted her," Unified Police Lt. Lex Bell said Monday. "That's what we're looking into right now."

Bell said distracted driving takes many forms, and reminded people to pay attention.

"You can't take your eyes off the road, for even a second," he said.

Bell said any criminal charges depends on her recovery. Brielle's friend was recently released from the hospital and is recovering at home. Angela Frear said she is now pleading with people to pay attention on the roads.

"Reality is, it only takes a split-second, you know? For you to have an accident, hit somebody in a crosswalk," she said. "I know it's never on purpose, but you look at your daughter and go, she's holding on, she's struggling for her life! They've told us numerous times, they don't know if she's going to make it."

Fear's friends and family have created a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses. Details can be found here.