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Heber City teen hit, critically injured by van while riding bike to school

Posted at 11:21 AM, Sep 14, 2023

HEBER, Utah — A 14-year-old boy riding his bike to school was critically injured after he was struck by a van Thursday morning.

The teen, although unidentified, is a student at Wasatch High School, which is located less than half a mile away from the crash scene.

Police report the teen was crossing the intersection of 500 East and 1200 South in Heber City at 7:45 when the crash happened.

The teenager was using a crosswalk, which had its yellow caution lights flashing to signal a pedestrian was using it, when a work van failed to yield and hit the teen.

“There were cars stopped on both sides of the road so people had noticed the lights were on,” said Sgt. Joshua Weishar. “There were about thirty feet of skid marks. He had tried to stop prior to hitting the student but they continued about fifty feet after that.”

After being hit, the teenager was taken to the hospital with critical injuries and officials report he is now in critical but stable condition.

“It’s just an unfortunate event that happened this morning,” said Weishar. “Preventable, of course, but still unfortunate.”

The driver of the van, although not identified, was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian's right of way in a school crosswalk.

The incident is the third this month in Utah where a teenager riding a bike was injured or killed after being struck by a car.

On September 3 in Uintah County, a woman was arrested after hitting 15-year-old Domanic Cole, who riding his bike with another individual in Ballard. He died of his injuries sustained in the crash.

Two days later, on September 5, 16-year-old SoRaya Manakaja was hit and killed by a garbage truck in Tremonton while also riding her bike. The crash is currently under investigation to determine if the driver will face any charges.

Just a few days ago, a 13-year-old in Sunset was hurt in a hit-and-run while riding his bike home from school.

Police arrested a 25-year-old woman for failing to remain at the scene of the accident, not having a valid driver’s license and no proof of insurance.

“It’s just indicative of the fact that our transportation system isn’t that safe,” said Chris Wiltsie, co-director of the organization Bike Utah.

Wiltsie said there has to be bigger solutions out there aside from telling drivers to pay attention.

“What we really need to do is re-design our street to be safe,” he said. “Particularly around schools. I think that is like our low hanging fruit.”