STOCKTON, Tooele County — A 16-year-old girl died after a vehicle with four other teenagers inside rolled near Stockton on Tuesday night, ejecting two of them.
The Utah Highway Patrol had not confirmed any fatalities Wednesday, but the grandfather of Sydney Naylor confirmed to the Deseret News that she died Wednesday afternoon.
"She was loved by everybody," Wally Naylor said. "She’ll be missed."
Sydney Naylor had just finished her sophomore year at Tooele High School.
On the Facebook page of the Utah Whiplash, the teen's softball team, a message was posted that said in part:
"Our hearts ache for the Naylor family. I can't imagine what they must be going through right now. She was such a happy, funny, kind and thoughtful young lady. We know you are in a better place. You will be missed by so many friends and family. You have touched the lives of so many who knew you. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. We will miss you No. 1!"
Just after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, a Volkswagen Jetta carrying the teens was westbound on state Route 73 near Stockton. The car was traveling at a high rate of speed when it drifted off the right side of the road, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.
"The driver lost control. The car slid sideways and rolled down the right shoulder. While rolling, two of the five occupants were ejected," said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce. One girl with "severe head trauma" and one boy with back and neck injuries were flown by medical helicopter to a hospital.
The teens range in age from 15 to 18.
Sydney Naylor's best friends and softball teammates, Sydney Turnbow and Mercy Deryke, were in tears Wednesday as they recalled getting the phone calls informing them of the crash.
"Sydney was like my rock. She's always been there for me. We've been best friends since second grade. She's been a constant in my life, a constant positive," Turnbow said.
"I loved just hanging out with her," added Deryke. "No matter what we did, we found fun in it. We never had nothing to do. We always had something to do or something to talk about.
"She always kept us in line. She was just one of the best friends you could ever ask for."
Turnbow said she visited the boy who was ejected from the vehicle Wednesday at the hospital. She said he was being fitted for a back brace when she arrived.
"It's going to be really rough for him," she said.
When she asked what happened, he mentioned that the driver simply lost control of the car, Turnbow said.
Royce said only two people in the vehicle were wearing seat belts. On Wednesday, Sydney Naylor's friends encouraged everyone to wear their seat belts.
"Make sure you wear your seat belt, because that could be the difference between life and death," Turnbow said.
The girls said a vigil was being planned for 9 p.m. Thursday at the Deseret Peak softball fields in Tooele on field No. 3. The vigil is open to the public and attendees are encouraged to wear gold or purple, Turnbow said.
Contributing: Ben Lockhart, Peter Samore, Ashley Stilson