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Police identify 3-year-old killed, baby critically injured in Provo crash

Posted at 6:12 PM, Apr 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-17 18:47:19-04

PROVO, Utah — The Provo Police Department has identified the toddler killed in the fatal crash as 3-year-old Chelsey Parkinson.

Police said the baby flown to the hospital in critical condition Sunday is a 15-month-old girl, not an 8-month-old boy as Provo Police originally said.

She is still in critical condition, officers said.

Det. Nick Dupaix of Provo Police said the crash occurred just before 5 p.m. at 3700 North University Ave.

Dupaix said three vehicles heading southbound were waiting in a left turn lane, when a truck came from behind and rear-ended a red station wagon, triggering a chain reaction.

Police are investigating if the truck was traveling faster than the speed limit, which is 50 mph.

“When a vehicle going that fast hits something that is at a dead stop it is going to cause serious damage,” Dupaix said.

The station wagon was the first vehicle hit. It was occupied by a couple and their two young children. A 3-year-old was killed while an infant was flown to Primary Children’s Hospital in critical condition. The mother of the children was taken to the hospital. Police say she was initially in critical condition but is now stable. Emergency responders used the jaws of life to get the family out of the station wagon.

The second vehicle struck in the chain reaction was occupied by an adult couple, both of whom suffered minor injuries.

The third vehicle struck had a lone occupant, who suffered no injuries.

The male driver of the vehicle that caused the crash remained on the scene and is cooperating with police. Police say he suffered injuries not considered life-threatening.

Police do not believe drugs or alcohol played a role in this crash. The truck is a Pleasant Grove city vehicle, but police did not confirm if the driver is a city employee or if he was conducting city business.

A resident of the neighborhood where the crash happened believes that stretch of University Avenue is dangerous.

“It’s 50 miles per hour, but people go 60, 70, frequently,” said Katie Steed, who has lived in the neighborhood for five years.

She says it isn’t uncommon to see crashes on the road that heads out of the Provo Canyon.

“I frequently am panicked when I am with my children and people aren’t paying attention, I can’t even count how many times I’ve had to stop my kids in the road and kind of wave at somebody to let them know hey, we are right here, be more careful,” she said. “People have got to pay more attention here, it’s just ridiculous.”

While she has witnessed crashes close to her home, she’s never seen wreckage this horrific.

“To know that children were involved is just heartbreaking,” Steed said. “It is, it’s very sobering; it's heartbreaking.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family to assist with medical and funeral expenses. It can be found here.