EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah (ABC4) – The Eagle Mountain community comes together to show support for the families of two toddlers who were killed by a speeding vehicle on Monday. The two three-year-olds have now been identified as Odin Ratliff and Hunter Jackson. Community members created a makeshift memorial, leaving behind flowers, balloons and toys.
“My heart felt so bad for the families and I can’t imagine it,” said Betsie Sayers, an Eagle Mountain resident who was at the memorial.
The two toddlers were playing outside when police said a speeding driver lost control and drove through a fence into a corral where the boys were playing.
Angela Gewondjan, the founder of Angels Landing, said: “It was windy, I thought the wind might have caught the roof, it took us a minute to see mum running and screaming than to see the car .”
Witnesses say the alleged driver, Kent Cody Barlow, 25, drifted in and out of its lane. A passenger said he was driving at around 80-100 miles per hour. Police say Barlow was under the influence and tested positive for methamphetamine. Arrest records show he has a long list of prior criminal convictions and drug-related charges and was on parole at the time of the crash.
Some people in the community said speeding is a common problem on this road and it’s an issue they’ve reported to the city. They said they hoped something would be done to prevent future accidents like this.
“I saw trucks, tractor-trailers, blasting that stop sign at over 70 miles an hour, blatantly driving through it,” said Aaron Wall, the stables owner.
“It’s absolutely devastating to come to this, that two little boys lost their lives on a road that is a big problem,” Gewondjan said. “We have children, we have dogs, my own personal children are here, and it has to be safe and obviously it’s not.”
The community says it wants to do what it can to help families during this tragic time. They plan to put ribbons all along local parks, stop signs and neighborhoods.
“The good thing about Eagle Mountain is that since we’ve had a few tragedies lately, we’re all one big family and come together to help support the families who are dealing with the losses,” Sayers said.
On Tuesday, Eagle Mountain City released the following statement:
“Eagle Mountain City is devastated to learn of this horrific accident and our hearts go out to the families of the victims. The city is working alongside the Utah County Sheriff’s Office in this matter to the best of its abilities. While the Sheriff’s Office investigation is ongoing, Eagle Mountain City intends to do everything in its power to keep this section of the road safe.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help support the families of the two boys tragically killed in the collision.
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