EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah — Sage Plott and her family have lived in Eagle Mountain for the past nine years. While she never knew Caelan Lewis, the tragedy of Friday's accident drew her to the small roadside memorial in his honor.
“I just heard the story and I felt really sad that it happened just right around the corner from my house," she said. "Our family wanted to show our condolences. We just have these beautiful flowers at home, and I thought it deserved to be here."
Lewis, 19, was in a crosswalk just before 5 p.m. when he was hit by a 14-year-old driving a dirt bike going up to 65 miles per hour, officials said.
Heidi Dimick, who has lived in a house right next to the intersection for the past three years, was within earshot when the accident happened.
“By the time we even we heard the crash, looked out the window, by the time we got out here, someone was already giving the runner CPR," she said. "And then my husband went to go check on the kid on the motorcycle.”
As tragic as this accident was, it unfortunately does not come as a shock, said Dimick.
“About a little over a year ago, my dog got out of the house and my seven-year-old went running after it," she said. "The person didn’t stop, and hit the dog and killed the dog.”
Dimick says drivers often don't come to a complete stop at this intersection, with some even flying through it. She doesn't know if there's a foolproof solution, but she has a few ideas.
“In another state, there was a speeding sign that tells you how fast you’re going, but instead of it being a blinking orange, they had it where it blinked cop colors, like a police vehicle," said Dimick. "So people thought it was a cop that was close by, and they would slow down.”
Occasionally, police officers will stakeout at the intersection, and Dimick always sees them catch a handful of drivers. Running through a stop sign is an infraction in Utah; the fine is usually around $120. However, after multiple accidents in her neighborhood, Dimick is asking: When is it going to be enough for something to change?
“I just don’t know if we have the resources for it," she said. "I don’t know if they’ll listen, to be honest with you. I feel like if this has been going on for almost three years that we’ve lived here — you don’t think anyone else has complained?”
Plott knows why people drive so carelessly around Eagle Mountain, she said.
“It used to be a lot quieter out here," she said. "There used to be a lot of areas that you could ride dirt bikes and four-wheelers, and there’s a lot of development going on, and so I think people that have lived out here for a while are still trying to feel what we used to have.”
That’s still not an excuse to justify this tragedy though, she added.
“Just know when you’re behind the wheel, you are risking your life and others," Plott said.