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Teen girl found dead after vehicle crashes into field

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Lindy Clark

Lindy Clark

TAYLORSVILLE — Investigators say it's an accident scene that just doesn't add up.

What police found Wednesday night was the body of a 17-year-old girl, with no obvious signs of trauma, and a car that had gone a long distance off the road into a field.

But how the car and the victim got to where they were, and how they ended up so far apart, were among many unanswered questions surrounding the incident.

"It's not a clear-cut traffic accident," said Taylorsville Police Sgt. Tracy Wyant.

About 11 p.m. Wednesday, a vehicle went off the road near 3200 West and 5900 South. The car went through a chain link fence, down an embankment and traveled about the length of a block before coming to a stop in a field, Wyant said.

Police received multiple calls about the accident. When officers arrived, they found the vehicle but no victim.

Officers from several agencies were called to assist Taylorsville police in searching the large field filled with sage brush and ravines. A helicopter from the Utah Highway Patrol eventually spotted the body of Lindy Clark, a student from a charter school at Cottonwood High.

The girl was not ejected from the vehicle, Wyant said. But how she got from the car to where she was found was unknown Thursday. Wyant would only say the teen was found "within proximity" to the vehicle and declined to say whether her body was hidden or obstructed from plain view.

Donna Goodrich, who lives near the field, watched the search. She said the girl's body was found a relatively long distance away from the vehicle.

"How she got that far back in the field is beyond me. It's gotta be 300 yards, probably. I don't even know where the car landed, but to be back behind our house and a little from there, it's quite a ways back," she said.

Until questions about what happened to the girl can be answered, Wyant said her death is being labeled as "suspicious." He hoped autopsy results from the medical examiner would help answer a lot of those questions.

"We're looking at every avenue ... medical condition ... other aspects," Wyant said. "It's very odd, very odd circumstances. It's a tragedy and our hearts go out to the family."

The sergeant also noted Thursday that there were no obvious signs of trauma on the victim's body.

It was not known Thursday if anyone else was in the vehicle with the girl.

Through permission from her parents, the principal and CEO of the charter school Lindy attended — the Utah Academy for Math, Science and Engineering — released her name Thursday.

Lindy was a very charismatic student who was always willing to lend a helping hand, said AMES Principal Brian McGill.

"She was very involved in school. She was an exemplary student in the Science Research Fair," he said. "You'd love to fill your entire school with her."

McGill said Clark was on the tennis and track teams for Cottonwood. She had aspirations of going to the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill to go into the field of public policy, he said.

Contributing: Sandra Yi, Andrew Adams

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam