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Mom challenges Lone Peak police about crash that hurt her son

Published June 25, 2013 6:05 pm

Crime • Police say they weren't pursuing, but mom says they were right behind the vehicle.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A boy suffered a fractured skull and traumatic brain injury in a crash early Saturday morning, one that his mother contends was the result of a police chase.

At about 4 a.m., officers saw a stolen vehicle run a stop sign on Main street in Alpine at a high rate of speed. The driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree, according to the Lone Peak Police Department.

Officers could see that the vehicle was heading toward the dead end of a mile-long road and followed, but never initiated a pursuit, said Detective Dave Ventrano.

"The report does state that [the officers were] at a distance that they would have noticed the [brake lights]" as the vehicle crashed, but the officer did not see the crash until rounding a corner, Ventrano said.

The boy's mother, however, who said she spoke with two officers following the incident, doesn't believe that. She contends that the police chased the vehicle and saw the wreck.

Though the four juveniles in the vehicle were all taken to area hospitals, the other three were released later that day.

Police discovered the vehicle had been stolen earlier in the night. Inside the vehicle, officers found stolen property, alcohol and drugs.

The boy's mother said that the hospital tests showed no sign of alcohol or drugs in her son's system, and added that he did not know the vehicle was stolen when the driver — the only person he knew — picked him up shortly before the crash.

The driver was booked into juvenile detention in connection with several alleged crimes. Police said they will recommend that prosecutors also charge the other three juveniles.

The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not identify juvenile charged with crimes.

mmcfall@sltrib.comTwitter: @mikeypanda