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Metal debris blamed in fatal crashes on I-15

Published June 28, 2013 11:04 am

South Jordan man tells UHP he didn't know metal ramp fell from his 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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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 metal ramp that reportedly fell from a pickup truck was the likely cause of a series of crashes on Interstate 15 on Thursday afternoon in Davis County that killed a teenage girl and seriously injured two people.

The Utah Highway Patrol reported Friday that the ramp fell from the vehicle of Paul Dannelly, 56, of South Jordan. Police identified Dannelly after a witness saw the ramp fall from a vehicle and passed the licence plate number on to investigators. Dannelly came to the UHP offices Friday and reportedly was "very remorseful" about the incident and did not know debris had fallen from his vehicle.

The victim was identified as Claire Kenyon, 16, of Layton. Kenyon's father, Tom Kenyon, said he heard that Dannelly had been "forthright" and "gentlemanly" about the incident.

Utah Highway Patrol trooper Todd Johnson said Friday that Claire was sitting in an open doorway on the passenger side of a car that was parked on the side of northbound I-15 near Parrish Lane about 1 p.m. Thursday. Claire's car and two others were parked in the right shoulder because they collided while trying to avoid the ramp.

When the driver of a passing Land Rover also tried to avoid the ramp he lost control and hit all three vehicles. Claire suffered fatal injuries.

A male and female struck outside their vehicles were not identified, though Johnson said they did not suffer life-threatening injuries.

The Land Rover's driver, a 31-year-old West Jordan man, was uninjured.

Investigators are still finishing their investigation and plan to turn the case over to the Davis County prosecutor sometime next week. Prosecutors will then screen the case for charges.

Tom Kenyon described Claire as a sweet and beautiful girl who loved to dance. Funeral services are being planned for Tuesday.