EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah (ABC4) – The Eagle Mountain community is coming together to show their support for the families of the two toddlers who were killed by a speeding vehicle 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 say a speeding driver lost control and went through a fence into a corral where the boys were playing.
Angela Gewondjan, the founder of Angels Landing, said, “It was windy, I thought maybe the wind had caught the roof, it took us a minute to see mom’s running and screaming than to see the car.”
Witnesses say the alleged driver, 25-year-old Kent Cody Barlow, was drifting in and out of his lane. A passenger said he was driving around 80-100 miles per hour. According to police, Barlow was under the influence and tested positive for methamphetamine. Arrest records show he has an extensive list of past criminal convictions and drug-related charges and was on parole at the time of the accident.
Some people in the community said that speeding is a regular problem on this road and it’s an issue they’ve brought up to the city. They said they hope something is done to prevent future accidents like this.
“I’ve seen trucks, semis, blow that stop sign at over 70 miles an hour, just blatantly going through it,” said Aaron Wall, the owner of the stables.
“It’s absolutely devastating that this had to come to this, that two little boys had to lose their lives on a road that is a big problem,” said Gewondjan. “We have kids, we have dogs, my own personal children are here, and it needs to be safe and obviously it is not.”
The community says they want to do what they can to help the families in this tragic time. They plan on putting up ribbons all along local parks, stop signs, and neighborhoods.
“The good thing about Eagle Mountain is that since we’ve had a couple of tragedies lately, we all make a big family and gather together to help support the families that are going through the losses,” said Sayers.
On Tuesday, Eagle Mountain City released the following statement:
“Eagle Mountain City is devastated to hear of this horrific accident and our hearts are with the family of the victims. The City is working alongside the Utah County Sheriff’s Office in the matter to the best of our ability. While the investigation by the Sheriff’s Office is ongoing, Eagle Mountain City intends to do everything it can to ensure safety in this section of roadway.”
A GoFundMe has been created to help support the families of the two boys tragically killed in the collision.