CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Teen charged following fatal crash in West Valley neighborhood

Jun 22, 2023, 1:23 PM

a house damaged in a west valley car crash is pictured...

Adrian Hernandez-Rodriguez, 24 was standing on his neighbor's porch when the car barreled through. (West Valley City Police Department)

(West Valley City Police Department)

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — A 15-year-old boy is facing murder and vehicle theft charges, after police said he fled from officers, drove through several yards and killed a man standing on his neighbor’s porch.

KSL will not release the boy’s name since he is underage.

Initial theft 

According to charging documents obtained by KSL, on May 22, police responded to the Salt Lake City International Airport, where they said the boy stole a Honda CRV from the economy parking lot.

Documents said the boy ended up, “jumping the curb, ramming the exit gate at the pay booth” before driving off on I-80.

Car spotted

Four days later on May 26, police noticed the stolen vehicle near 3500 South Redwood Road and followed it to a neighborhood near 3030 West and 3100 South.

There, police said three teens, including the 15-year-old boy, got out of the car and began walking away from the vehicle after noticing law enforcement. Later the suspect told police he, “let them out as they didn’t want to be involved in [this]” documents state.

Police chase

When officers approached, police said the 15-year-old got back in the car and sideswiped an unmarked police car before hitting spike strips up the road.

Police said the boy lost control, took a blind corner, and hit a low curb while going 76 in a 25 mph zone.

Documents said the boy was, “at 99% full throttle when he went airborne, traveling 70 feet before landing in the front yard of a residence.”

A life lost

Adrian Hernandez-Rodriguez, 24 was standing on his neighbor’s porch when the car barreled through.

The car hit him and tore through part of a house, two cars, and a gas line before coming to a rest in another yard.

Documents said it took first responders 25 minutes to find his body in all the rubble; they even had to ping his phone to do so.

The neighbor Hernandez-Rodriguez had been visiting was an older woman who lived with her son Chris Bonilla. Bonilla later told KSL TV that his mother often got help and rides from Hernandez-Rodriguez.

The 15-year-old boy has been charged in juvenile court. Along with the murder and theft charges, the 15-year-old is charged with failing to stop after being told to by an officer.

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Teen charged following fatal crash in West Valley neighborhood