ROY — A 16-year-old girl was arrested Thursday for investigation of two counts of murder after police say her SUV slammed into the back of another vehicle, killing the two people inside.
Maddison Haan, 20, of West Point, and Tyler Christianson, 19, of Ogden, were killed in the crash that happened about 1:10 a.m. near the intersection of 3500 West and 6000 South.
Police say prior to the intersection, a Chevy Tahoe smashed into a Hyundai Accent from behind. Roy police officer Matthew Gwynn did not know Thursday if both vehicles were moving or if the Hyundai was stopped when it was hit.
"From all indication, the accident was a high-speed accident. After this vehicle was struck, the (SUV) continued on for another 100 yards or so, actually struck another vehicle and a trailer on some private property, as well as a fence, and ended up in a field," Gwynn said.
The driver of the SUV attempted to run from police after the crash, but officers were able to track her down and capture her, according to Gwynn. The girl's name was not immediately released. She was booked into a juvenile detention facility.
Prior to the crash, a Clinton police officer had attempted to pull over the SUV because it was suspected of being involved in a property damage case from another city, Gwynn said. When the SUV was spotted, it was dragging a plastic garbage can either underneath or behind the vehicle, he said.
The SUV fled from the officer before he was able to pull it over. Gwynn did not know Thursday how fast the driver was going when the SUV hit the Hyundai or whether drugs or alcohol were factors.
Haan and Christianson used to work together at Lagoon. Haan still worked there at the time of her death. Chase Kingsfore, also a Lagoon employee and a friend of Haan, described park employees Thursday as a "mess" upon hearing the news.
"I called them. They can't hold it together," Kingsfore said.
He said Haan would leave notes or poetry for other employees at the park and always asked about how they were doing. Kingsfore said many of the employees at Lagoon not only spent all day together at work, but would often hang out after work was over.
Now, he says he will never take his friends for granted.
"Any day could be their last day. Any day could be my last day. This was the high time of Madi's life," said.
Kingsfore said Haan was about to move out of her parents' house and get her own place.
On Facebook, friends and family members started posting tributes as news of their deaths spread.
"I want the pain to go away. Madi, Tyler, I love you both so much. I don't want it to be true. I want to see you both, please," wrote one person.
"Woke up to the news of this today, and I'm so heartbroken. Madi was such a sweet person and friend. I can't believe you are gone. My prayers go out to your friends and family, as well as Tyler's. Also prayers to my Lagoon family as I know we all are affected by this. Again, I send my love and prayers especially to her and Tyler's families," wrote another.
Several people noted Haan's "fun spirit and energetic personality" and her "happy positive attitude."
The decision to arrest the teen for investigation of murder, instead of less severe charges usually connected to deadly car crashes such as negligent homicide, automobile homicide or manslaughter, was based on the statutes in the Utah Code book, according to Gwynn.
According to the Utah law, a person can be charged with homicide if that person intentionally kills another or if that person is "acting under circumstances evidencing a depraved indifference to human life, the actor knowingly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another and thereby causes the death of another." A person can also be charged with murder if they cause a death while fleeing from another offense, according to state law.
It will be up to the Weber County Attorney's Office to determine what charges, if any, will be filed against the teenager.
Last week, a Bountiful man pleaded guilty to murder after crashing a stolen car into a recently returned LDS Church missionary, killing her. Anthony Santos Cruz, 28, was charged with murder, a first-degree felony, in the death of Jazmyn Jeppson, 21, after Cruz was involved in a series of carjackings and ran a red light while trying to flee.
In 2015, a jury convicted a Draper man of murder when he drove into a busy intersection and killed a mother driving her daughter to cheerleading practice. Robert Thompson, 45, was drunk and enraged after getting into a fight at home before leaving in his pickup truck. Prosecutors say Thompson never took his foot off the accelerator when he hit the other vehicle.
Contributing: Mike Anderson