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Police trying to pinpoint driver in deadly crash that killed 16-year-old girl

(Unified Police Department)

BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON – Officers say they still have a lot of investigating they need to do into a crash that killed a 16-year-old girl in Big Cottonwood Canyon.  The driver could face serious charges, but, police admit they don’t know who the driver is.

The Salt Lake City Police department has taken over the investigation into this crash to avoid a potential conflict of interest.  The victim may have been related to an employee of the Unified Police Department, which was originally called to handle the crash.

Officers say a passenger car slammed into the back of a pick-up near the Butler Fork Trailhead, killing the girl who was in the truck’s bed with her mother.

“There were at least three occupants in the vehicle that could have been the driver,” says Salt Lake City Police Detective Greg Wilking.

Why don’t officers know who was behind the wheel?  Wilking says, “When fire and medical people arrived on scene, people had already gotten out of the vehicle,” When asked whether or not the people on scene pointed out who the driver was, he responded, “I don’t know if in this kind of investigation that they would.”

Even if the people in the passenger car don’t want to divulge who was driving, officers say they have ways to determine that by reconstructing the car.

“We want to make sure, in these kinds of investigations, that we’re absolutely certain of that.  So, we’ll do some forensic testing,” Wilking says.

Toxicology reports will play a major role in this investigation.

“If we find that they were impaired, then we’re looking at possible manslaughter charges,” he says.

Officers have not released the name of the victim, yet.