Central Utah community in mourning after 10-year-old boy is fatally hit by SUV

UHP sergeant describes the scene as a “horrible, most unfortunate tragedy.”

A central Utah community is in mourning after a 10-year-old boy was fatally hit while riding his bike Thursday night.

The boy, identified by police as Harley Howells, had moved to Richfield with his family just weeks prior to the incident, and had recently celebrated his birthday, according to Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Clay Morgan. The family declined to make a statement, Morgan said, and has asked for privacy as they mourn the loss of the boy.

A few minutes after 5:30 p.m., at dusk, an SUV was heading west on State Route 119 (Glenwood Road) between Glenwood and Richfield. As the driver neared Helpers Pond Road (3300 East), the vehicle struck the boy.

Based on the initial investigation, it appears the boy also was riding in the westbound lane of travel, Morgan said. Harley’s older brother — who is about 12 or 13 — was riding his bike along with the boy and witnessed the crash.

The 10-year-old was taken to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

The speed limit in the area where the crash occurred is 60 mph, Morgan said, and the driver was traveling below the speed limit. Headlights were shining in the driver’s eyes and mirrors as she drove, Morgan said, and she told officers she didn’t see the boy until her vehicle struck him.

The road there is “not one where you expect people to be on bicycles,” Morgan said, and there doesn’t appear to be any malicious intent from the driver. “She just had no idea he was even there.”

“It’s a horrible, most unfortunate tragedy for the family ... at the worst possible time of year,” Morgan said. The “horrible, horrible accident” also appeared to affect the driver, first responders and community members, he said. “Our hearts and prayers are going out to his family and everybody involved.”

Morgan asked both drivers and bicyclists to pay attention to their surroundings and “be vigilant” to keep each other safe.