Two adolescent boys were found dead between a trash bin and construction equipment in the shadows of an empty Provo warehouse Monday night.
Construction workers from Cimtech, a neighboring industrial site at 744 S. 100 East, found the bodies of Adam E. Horne, 13, and Chris Riley Cutler, 12, about 8:30 p.m.Police believe the boys, both from Provo, had been pinned for nearly an hour before they were discovered behind the building surrounded by railroad tracks and steel working plants.
"They were crushed. They were pressed against the Dumpster," said Provo Police Capt. Keith Teuscher. "We're satisfied in our investigation that that's what happened."
Teuscher said the deaths have been ruled accidental. A citation was not given to the owner of the industrial equipment involved in the incident.
After paramedics determined the boys were dead, Provo rescue units were called to extricate the bodies, which were trapped under the platform on a Mark scissor lift the duo had apparently taken from a nearby construction site.
Police believe Horne and Cutler found the key to the scissor lift while exploring Cimtech's industrial area and drove it to a nearby lot.
A scissor lift, which weighs some 5,500 pounds, is used to hoist construction workers.
Police say the boys were standing on the lift's platform while they extended it.
"The lift became unbalanced and tipped over," Teuscher said. "The boys were unable to clear themselves from the falling platform."
Police spent Monday night contacting the victims' families, who both live in an apartment complex at 45 S. 900 East. Only Horne was carrying identification.
Teuscher said worried parents had called the police to report their children missing after the bodies were taken to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.
Both boys were identified by family members at the hospital late Monday night, he said.
The state medical examiner will now conduct autopsies of the bodies, he said.
"This is such an, how should I say it, amazing accident," Teuscher said. "If the lift had been just a little higher or a little lower, they would have been thrown or fell clear."
Neighbors at Airmount Square, the white-bricked apartments on a Center Street corner, often saw a light-haired Cutler playing in the parking lot behind the building, piecing together a playtime fort near the trash cans.
Few who were contacted by the Deseret News Tuesday knew Horne, who came to Utah from Alabama less than three weeks go.
Monday's accident comes on the heels of the deaths of five West Valley children on Friday. Five young girls who were accidentally locked in the trunk of a car in the searing afternoon heat will be buried Wednesday at a joint funeral.
Teuscher, sounding weary from discussing the untimely deaths with grieving families and inquiring media, offered that parents should discuss how to play safely with their children.
"You just never know what kids are going to do after they leave home," he said.