PROVO — A man who police say caused a crash that killed a 3-year-old girl and critically injured her 8-month-old sister and her parents may have looked away to kiss his fiancee just before the crash, according to newly unsealed court documents.
Chelsea Parkinson, 3, died when a Pleasant Grove utility truck smashed into the back of a red station wagon at the intersection of 3700 North and University Avenue in Provo on April 15.
"There were three vehicles stopped at a red left-hand turning light going southbound at the intersection of 3700 N. University Avenue in Provo, Utah. All of the vehicles were fully stopped and fully in the left-hand turning lane," according to search warrants unsealed over the weekend.
The driver of the Pleasant Grove city vehicle drifted into the left turning lane and "was distracted and did not see the vehicles stopped in the left-hand turning lane which he had drifted into," the warrants state.
The impact also resulted in the girls' father suffering a broken back and ribs, and their mother suffered a skull fracture "and she is still in a coma with brain injuries," the officer stated when the warrant was written.
The driver who allegedly caused the crash told police that "he looked over at his girlfriend and was kissing her hand when he was suddenly struck in the face by the air bag. He did not remember anything further," the warrants state.5 comments on this story
"(The driver) made statements that he was the driver of the truck and that he had turned his head to the side to kiss the hand of his fiancee. His fiancee had placed her hand on his shoulder causing (him) to turn his head," according to another warrant. "(He) stated that his phone was in his pocket at the time of the accident."
The man also tested positive "for opiates and Oxycodone at the hospital," the warrants state, and a bottle of medication typically used to treat a seizure disorder was found in his vehicle. The warrants were served to see if the man was distracted by his cellphone and to verify what medicines were prescribed to him.
As of Monday, the man had not been arrested and no charges filed. The Deseret News has opted not to name him at this time.