clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

STUNNED COMMUNITY IS STRICKEN WITH GRIEF

The tragedy of the Thursday morning accident that killed two teenage girls and critically injured a third has marred the picture-perfect neighborhood of Mill Hollow; the shocking details a constant memory to the close-knit community.

The divisive nature of the accident - it was another neighborhood teen who, allegedly drunk and illegally at the wheel of his mother's car, struck the three girls - has sickened the boy's parents and left the neighborhood reeling.Laramie J. Huntzinger turned 16 Tuesday and was driving his mother's Infiniti G-20 illegally when he struck the three girls. He remains under investigation for driving while intoxicated and for drug possession.

"There's a lot of anger toward this young man," said one neighbor who knew both the Huntzingers and one victim's family. "You hate him, but you can't, because he'll live with this the rest of his life."

Little more than three months ago, the Huntzingers lost their 13-year-old son, William Colter, to a skateboarding accident in the same Mill Hollow neighborhood.

"(Laramie) and (his father) Bill and (his mother) Noreen are just extremely upset," said a friend of the family. "They wish they could do something. L.J. is just . . . we have to watch him every minute. He doesn't quit crying. He can't believe it. He is so remorseful. He wishes he could take it all back."

Still grieving for her younger son's death, Noreen Huntzinger said this latest incident has left her stricken and stunned.

"I heard it happen," she said of the Thursday crash. Like other parents in the neighborhood, she immediately ran to the scene, worried that it could be her own child. "I knew he'd be coming home.

"I just got through with one death, now this is times ten," she said.

The woman believes her son has been wrongly portrayed as a neighborhood bad boy. She confirmed that he had been drinking that night but questions if the amount of alcohol was excessive.

"They were only at the party for an hour," she said. That he was on anti-depressants could have escalated the effects of the alcohol, she argues.

"This child is going through so much hell," she said. "All he's done is cry. He goes to sleep and all he does is cry.

"He's blaming himself for his brother's death. He's been living with that for three months," she said. "He's been trying to deal with this. I don't know what this is going to do.

"He knows he's going to live with this the rest of his life," she said. "It's not like he doesn't care for one second. His heart aches for those people."

Laramie Huntzinger was treated for minor injuries after the accident and released to the custody of his mother. No criminal charges have been filed.

Two boys who were passengers in the Huntzinger's vehicle fled the scene after the accident. Sheriff's investigators spoke to the boys, not for the purpose of charging them, but as witnesses to the accident, Salt Lake County sheriff's Sgt. Jim Potter said.

He said the trio of boys had apparently attended at least one party Wednesday evening. The sheriff's office will pursue charges "aggressively" against any one who may have supplied alcohol and illegal substances to the boys, he said.