SALT LAKE CITY — It's a difficult day for friends and family of 24-year-old mother Libbie Allen who was 17 weeks pregnant when she was killed after a driver jumped a curb hitting her and her daughter Clara.
"Libbie always gave every part of herself to every person she came into contact with,” said Brookelyn Tuckett, a close friend.
“She was always authentic I don't think I ever heard her tell a lie” Brookelyn said. “ [I'm] definitely [in] denial definitely shock and I still feel like that I mean it's only been 24 hours we've pretty much always been in the same stage of life pretty much from day one so she's been my go to for anything and everything.”
Her daughter Clara was taken to the hospital in critical condition after the crash, but it's expected she will make a full recovery.
Families and communities in Salt Lake City, West Jordan and Eagle Mountain are processing the multiple crashes that resulted in fatalities. The crashes have left four children dead and a fifth recovering in the hospital.
In yesterdays crash that killed 24-year-old Libbie Allen, the suspected DUI driver 53 year old Jack Keith Archibald sped away from the scene. According to the police, as they took him into custody he said he "was scared and fled the scene,” officers also said that he "Smelled very strongly of an alcoholic beverage.”
Archibald has relatively minor prior offenses but Utah is currently seeing a trend of DUI related crashes.
Its been one week since the death of 13-year-old Eli Mitchell was killed on his bike by 50-year-old Mason Ohms.
New court documents report that Ohms drank, “seven 20 oz beers” in the hours before the crash. He also has a lengthy history of a dozen DUI related charges.
Even more concerning is the suspect in Monday’s crash where 2 three-year-olds, Odin Ratliff, and Hunter Jackson were killed in Eagle Mountain. The driver, 25-year-old Kent Cody Barlow has quite the history and has been previously convicted of multiple drug charges.
In 2019, Barlow stole a Draper Police car. Now he's in prison again for allegedly traveling 100 miles an hour while high on meth when he crashed.
Retired UPD deputy chief and private investigator Chris Bertram weighed in on the question of why this is all happening at once.
“Wow, I'm just I'm heartbroken," Bertram reflected. "The people that were we're seeing are very young people that are being killed in these accidents”
Utah ranks comparatively low for these kind of DUI related fatal crashes against the national average. Only about 15% of the states fatal crashes are impairment related compared to the around 40% nationwide.
Investigators across the state are still trying to figure out why these kinds of crashes have been so common in Utah the last few weeks.
“I don't have an answer," Bertram said. "I mean, these are just tragic you know, you can't predict things like this."
“I don't think that anybody ever expected that," said Tuckett. "You know, she'd be on a daily walk like she has to every single day with her daughter down a small residential road and somebody would jump the curb and hit her and her daughter.”
A press conference with city and state leaders including Utah Highway Patrol and UDOT will happen tomorrow about how the plan to address this recent increase in fatal traffic crashes.