A driver suspected of plowing into a woman and her child on a Salt Lake City sidewalk Tuesday smelled “strongly” of alcohol when he was later arrested after fleeing the scene, police said.
The woman, identified as 23-year-old Libbie Isabel Allan, died on the way to a hospital, police said, and her child was critically injured. The crash marked one of two fatal auto-pedestrian wrecks Tuesday involving children.
The Salt Lake City crash happened at about 11:30 a.m. near 900 East and 1700 South. According to a probable cause statement, the driver was heading east when he swerved through oncoming lanes of traffic and hit the pair on the sidewalk.
After impact, the 53-year-old driver left the scene because he was “scared,” according to the document. He then drove to work, where he parked his damaged vehicle and ran about a half block away to a shed, ducking inside to hide.
Officers later found him when he peeked out from, then exited the shed. He “smelled strongly of an alcoholic beverage,” investigators noted, and the man told officers he had consumed alcohol and marijuana. His blood alcohol level was 0.136 at about 3 p.m., the probable cause statement said — nearly three times higher than Utah’s legal limit.
The child’s name and age were not released as of Wednesday morning, but police referred to her as Allan’s daughter. The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not name suspects until they have been charged with a crime.
The second crash involving a child Tuesday happened in Sandy, where a 5-year-old girl was hit and killed by a postal truck on a tree-lined cul-de-sac called Blossomwood Circle, at about 9300 South. Police said the driver stayed on scene and is cooperating with officers, who don’t believe speed or impairment contributed to the crash.
The 5-year-old was later identified as Kate Peterson. No further details were immediately available.
Allan’s death marked the 11th traffic-related fatality in Salt Lake City this year, and the Sandy wreck marked the most recent in a string of area crashes that have killed children.
On Monday, two 3-year-old boys were killed instantly when a man who police said was high on meth crashed into an Eagle Mountain horse stable at about 100 mph, striking the children as they were playing. The 25-year-old driver suffered minor injuries and was arrested, police said.
Last week, a driver fatally struck a 13-year-old boy in a West Jordan crosswalk, then left the scene, police said. The child, Eli Mitchell, was riding his bike at the time of the wreck. Police later arrested the 50-year-old suspected hit-and-run driver.
On April 18, 14-year-old Patrick Lawrence was struck and killed by a TRAX train in Sandy while on his way to school. The Jordan High School student was with his bicycle when he went beneath a railroad crossing gate near 8751 South and 160 East and was hit, a UTA spokesperson said, calling the boy’s death a “tragedy.”