Tag: utah news

Motorcycle passenger dies in Spanish Fork crash

SPANISH FORK, Utah — A woman died Monday after the motorcycle she was on was hit from behind.

The woman was riding on the back of a motorcycle stopped ahead of a Porsche on eastbound U.S. Highway 6 when a Nissan Pathfinder failed to stop and crashed into the Porsche from behind, according to Spanish Fork Police Lt. Brandon Anderson.

The Porsche then hit the motorcycle, ejecting the bike’s female passenger and male driver. The woman was transported to an area hospital, where she died.

The Pathfinder continued through the intersection and hit a stopped vehicle in the westbound left-hand turn lane. Police say the driver may have not stopped due to a medical condition of some sort.

The westbound vehicle’s driver was treated at the scene and released. Five others involved in the multi-vehicle crash were taken to the hospital.

‘Find MacKenzie and bring her home’: Lueck family makes statement

SALT LAKE CITY — The family of MacKenzie Lueck addressed the public for the first time since she was reported missing.

“Our primary goal is to find Mackenzie and bring her home. Her family is grateful for the concern, prayers and the tireless efforts of the Salt Lake City Police and members of the community,” they said in a statement released Monday.

Police in Salt Lake City said Lueck, a University of Utah student reported missing last week, left the park where Lyft dropped her off with someone who had come to meet her the day she fell off the grid.

Asst. Chief Tim Doubt, Salt Lake City Police, said Lueck took a Lyft to Hatch Park in North Salt Lake after landing in Salt Lake City International Airport around 2 a.m. Monday the 17th and arrived at the park at about 3 a.m.

Doubt said the Lyft driver reported Lueck met someone at that park, who had arrived in a vehicle.  He said the driver reported that “MacKenzie did not appear to be in any kind of distress” when she was picked up.

No details about the vehicle or a description of the person she met are available at this time.

“At this time there is no evidence that any harm has come to her. However, because of the circumstances of the case, we want to make sure that she is all right,” Doubt said.

Police have tried to locate the woman through her phone, which is turned off, but said that has not been successful. They are interviewing those known to her and searching areas she frequents.

A dedicated tip line has been set up specifically for MacKenzie Lueck. Call 801-799-4420 and reference case 19-11129.

Timeline of MacKenzie Lueck disappearance:

  • Early morning June 17: Flew into Salt Lake City from Los Angeles after attending funeral.
  • 1:30 a.m.: Texted parents telling them she landed.
  • 2:42 a.m.: Took a Lyft from the airport to Hatch Park in North Salt Lake.
  • 2:49 a.m. Arrived at Hatch Park
  • 4:00 p.m. June 20, parents reported her missing when she failed to show at a midterm exam.

Detectives spoke with Fox 13 Monday about the status of the case so far. Click here for details. 

Fox 13 News will update this story as more details emerge.

Monday’s full press conference:

Car thieves crash through building, steal paperwork in Tooele County car dealership heist

ERDA, Utah — The Tooele County Sheriff’s Office and a car dealership hope the public can help them track down strange thieves who broke into a small business in a bizarre way.

In the blink-and-you-miss-it town of Erda, north of Tooele, it says “the local boys” on the sign for Bargain Buggy’s.

Doubling as a small dealership and an auto detailing and repair shop, it’s what they pride themselves in.

“A little bit more family-oriented, a little bit hometown,” Bargain Buggy’s general manager Brad Mackie said.

They aren’t a large corporate dealership, and they’re not used to the kind of crime you’d find on the other side of the Oquirrh Mountains.

Certainly not a two-vehicle heist that happened in the early morning hours of June 16.

“It baffles me as to why someone would be that blatantly stupid,” Mackie said.

The several surveillance cameras in and outside of Bargain Buggy’s caught the burglary.

In one video, a man pulls up in a van and peers through the front windows. He then appears to try and break the front door in with what Mackie said was a tire iron.

When that didn’t work, the man decided to force his way in through the back of the shop.

“Went around the back, and drove a van through the garage door,” Mackie said.

Their shop surveillance shows the aftermath of the van crashed right through the auto shop.

Mackie said the building’s alarms failed to go off. He said the man stole a 2019 black Ford Escape from the dealership.

“So, he escaped in the Escape,” Mackie said, with a chuckle.

A few hours later, surveillance cameras picked up two people who walked in through the broken garage door. The Tooele County Sheriff’s Office said one of the people appeared to be wearing a wig.

Apparently, the people were after paperwork this time. One of the burglars kicked straight through a door to get inside an office.

“There was a few customer records that were taken later on in the morning, and that’s when the alarm went off,” Mackie explained. “So, they couldn’t get very many.”

The two took off, one in a white 2015 Chevy Silverado stolen from the dealership lot, and the other in a getaway car, which the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office described as a gray Dodge Caliber.

The van was left behind, and deputies discovered it was also stolen. Bargain Buggy’s called the customers whose documents were stolen, to let them know what happened, Mackie indicated.

For a small town business, it’s a strange string of events.

“It’s kind of a wake-up call,” Mackie said.

He said they’ll stay more vigilant with security from now on — a lesson learned, even in Erda.

“Hopefully we can catch him,” Mackie said.

The Tooele County Sheriff’s Office said one of the men is described as white or Hispanic with tattoos including on both calves, wearing dark shorts and a gray hoodie.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office at 435-882-5600, and should request to speak with Detective David Bleazard or Sgt. Norberto Aranda.

Former SLC police chief weighs in on search for missing U of U student

SALT LAKE CITY — As the search for missing University of Utah student MacKenzie Lueck stretches past a week, Salt Lake City Police are trying to answer a number of questions.

“Does MacKenzie have an alternate phone that she has used or is using? Who did MacKenzie meet in North Salt Lake City? Does MacKenzie have any social media accounts we don’t know about,” said Assistant Salt Lake City Police Chief Tim Doubt.

Another question police are trying to answer: does MacKenzie want to be found?

“She has no obligation to call the police department or anyone else and say, ‘Here’s where I went,’” said former SLC Police Chief Chris Burbank.

Burbank said cases with children are different. Law enforcement can automatically assume the child is in danger because they are not old enough to care for themselves. With adults, going off the grid can be a personal choice.

Burbank says a challenge for investigators is balancing Lueck’s right to privacy with her family’s concern. Because of that balance, he says the investigation initially starts in public spaces, like Facebook posts, comments to friends, etc. But as the investigation unfolds, it may be necessary to get search warrants to push into more personal areas of her life.

“In this circumstance, wouldn’t it be tragic if this young woman is in fact in danger and we didn’t do enough?” Burbank said.

Salt Lake City police have set up a tip line, 801-799-4420, for information on MacKenzie’s disappearance.

Woman has 34 bridesmaids at her Florida wedding

DESTIN, Florida – If there had only been more time to plan, Casme Carter said, she would have had 50 bridesmaids instead of 34.

Carter married her husband Gary recently on a beach in Destin, Florida, according to Inside Edition. She said six of her bridesmaids are biological sisters, and the remaining 28 are close friends she met over time. As a singer/entertainer who travels regularly, Carter said she continues to make friends in multiple states.

“There are so many women I have met on the journey,” she said. “Why not let them be part of my life?”

With only three months to pull off the packed ceremony, it wasn’t easy.

“I thought it was crazy,” now-husband Gary Carter told Access. “But knowing Casme she could pull it off, only Casme could pull something like that off.”

When it came to the dresses and shoes – sometimes a source of contention – Casme only asked that her bridesmaids wear earth tones.

Essence reports that not everything went smoothly for the Carters – someone stole Casme’s original wedding dress and her engagement ring fell into the ocean during a bachelorette trip – but she has no regrets, saying on Facebook, “My heart is full.”

 

Woman falls asleep during flight, wakes up alone ‘in complete darkness’

TORONTO – On an uncrowded flight from Quebec City to Toronto, Tiffani Adams decided to take advantage of an empty row of seats and take a nap.

When she awoke, the plane was pitch dark, CTV reports, and she was the only person on the plane. The plane was parked far from the terminal in Toronto, and flight crew had left her behind, CTV reports.

“I wake up around midnight, few hours after [the] flight landed, freezing cold still strapped in my seat in complete darkness,” Adams said in a post on the airline’s Facebook page. Adams wrote that she first tried to charge her phone so she could call for help, but couldn’t because the plane had been powered down. Panic set in, she said, “because I want off this nightmare ASAP.”

Adams found a flashlight and tried to catch the attention of workers on the tarmac. She was able to open a door, she wrote, but “now I’m facing a 40-50ft drop to the pavement below.”

A baggage attendant eventually saw her light and brought a ladder truck. The airline offered her a ride home and has apologized. Air Canada also said it is investigating.

Adams says she’s still bothered by the incident: “I haven’t got much sleep since the reoccurring night terrors and waking up anxious and afraid I’m alone locked up someplace dark,” she wrote, per NPR.

The baggage handler told her he couldn’t understand how it happened, and Adams said she couldn’t, either. “When my seat (is) an inch back or my tray down flight crew take notice,” she wrote, per CTV, “but yet you missed a person still strapped into her seat and just all go on home?” (A flight in Italy had only one passenger.)

More From Newser:

 

Police respond to barricaded subject in Draper

DRAPER, Utah — Draper Police are responding to a barricaded subject, according to Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communications. No hostages are involved.

The person has barricaded himself or herself inside a house on Red Leaf Drive in Draper for unknown reasons. It is unknown if the person has a gun.

Fox 13 has a crew on the way and will update this story as more information becomes available.

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Girls in Utah lag in high school sports participation compared to boys

UTAH — Girls are the minority when it comes to high school athletic participation in every state in the country, but most states come closer to parity than Utah.

In Minnesota, 49 percent of high school athletes were girls and 51 percent were boys in the 2017-18 school year, according to the National Federation of State High School Activities Associations.

In Utah, female athletes are just 42 percent of the total, with 33 states having higher participation from girls as a percentage.

Fox 13 took raw numbers from NFSHSAA and tabulated them to see how Utah compares statistically.

In terms of participation in sanctioned athletics, the most popular sport for high school girls in Utah is track and field, with 5,247 athletes, followed by volleyball with 3,605 and soccer with 3,550.

For boys, football outpaces all sports in terms of participation, then track and field followed by soccer.

In terms of programs, there are more basketball teams for boys and girls than any other sport, but those teams have fewer athletes.

Source: National Federation of State High School Associations’ Participation Data tabulated by Fox 13 News.

Hackers siphoning money off real estate transactions in Utah

VERNAL, Utah — A warning for anyone about to buy or sell real estate in Utah: Hackers are finding success funneling millions of dollars to overseas accounts.

The hackers are targeting the booming real estate industry by spoofing emails to intercept loan money.

After the sale of an income property, Vernal real estate agent Emily Pedersen expected to get $60,000 at closing. By chance, she dropped in on her escrow officer to pick up the check.

“She said, ‘I was just going to wire it into the account you just gave me… It’s your email.’ We pulled up the email and, sure enough, someone had hacked me,” Pedersen said.

The escrow officer was just minutes away from sending the money to an off-shore account, thinking Pederson was still on the other end of the keyboard.

“They knew what they were looking for, which was scary,” Pedersen said.

Pedersen was one of the first real estate agents targeted back in 2015. Last year, hackers took $20 million from Utahns the same way.

“Everybody should be more aware. Anybody can be a victim,” Utah Division of Real Estate Director Jonathan Stewart said.

Stewart warns that scammers hack into the email accounts of real estate agents, their clients and title companies, then they silently monitor for a big money transfer. Shortly before the transaction, the hacker impersonates the email user, sending fake wiring instructions overseas.

“They don’t care about how much money, they just care about their ability to gain access to the money,” Stewart said.

Before a big transaction, Pedersen now makes a confirmation phone call because once the money is gone, it’s gone.

“It’s scary because it’s getting worse and people are just getting more and more clever on how to get this money,“ Pedersen said.

Stewart said the scam has become so common in Utah, the state is launching an ad campaign to warn others about the email scam.

Victims are urged to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Driver sentenced for killing man after dog abuse accusation in West Valley

SALT LAKE CITY — A man convicted of hitting and killing another man in West Valley City after being confronted about abusing a dog learned his fate Monday.

It’s been just over two years since 47-year-old Jeremy Hardman was hit and killed, but his mother, Judy Crocker, says justice has finally been served.

“For it to run over two years really has been trying,” Crocker said.

It was June 7, 2017 when police say Jeremy Hardman confronted Aaron Hosman after he saw him hitting a small dog.

“He was the biggest animal lover you’d ever want to meet. If there was an animal in trouble, if there was an animal that needed adopting, it came to our house,” Crocker said.

After an argument, several witnesses say Hosman got into his car and sped towards Hardman, hitting and killing him before driving off.

“He not only murdered my son. He was my only son. I will now have no grandchildren. I will now not be able to celebrate Mother’s Day,” Crocker said.

He was on the run for several days, changing the color of his car in an attempt to hide from police.

“I’d just like to apologize to the family I didn’t mean for this to happen and I apologize and that’s it,” Hosman said during his sentencing.

“That was not a sincere apology. There was no remorse. The only thing Aaron Hosman is sorry about is Aaron Hosman got caught,” Crocker said.

“We were asking for a concurrent sentence because my client is very remorseful about what happened. This was again never his intent that day to turn out the way that it did,” said Hosman’s attorney, Lacey Cole Singleton.

Despite his apology and his attorney’s plea for mercy, Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills, handed down the maximum punishment.

“You demonstrated such a horrible lack of impulse control. It’s astonishing,” says Hruby-Mills.

Hosman will serve consecutive sentences of 16 years to life for murder and 1-15 years for obstruction of justice.

“We were not really surprised by the way that she sentenced him. We kind of expected that. Not to say we weren’t disappointed,” Singleton said.

Singleton says they plan to appeal.

“I feel like justice was well served,” Crocker said. “He’s probably looking down with a smile on his face and saying he got what he deserved.”