WASHINGTON COUNTY (ABC4 News) – A 13-year-old boy, Malachi King-Castro, was killed in a UTV rollover crash during a family vacation near Sand Hollow State Park Wednesday afternoon.
First responders received a call around 2:45 p.m at the Bureau of Land Management Sand Mountain OHV area.
Officials said the boy was riding in the backseat with his father and his grandfather when they tried to jump a sand dune going about 50 m.p.h. and flew 100 feet in the air, rolling the vehicle multiple times.
King-Castro sustained fatal head trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene.
“The reaction of the family was dynamic and heartbreaking,” Sgt. Darrell Cashin, Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue liaison, said. ‘It affects all the rescuers.”
Officials said speed could have played a role in the extent of his injuries. While the boy was wearing a seat belt, he was not wearing a helmet, according to Cashin.
“He potentially could have survived that had he had a helmet on,” said Cashin.
While there’s no speed limit on the sand, Sand Hollow State Park Manager Johnathan Hunt said the terrain is uneven and going around every bend can change quickly.
“Go slow,” Hunt said. “Just because the machine is capable of going fast doesn’t mean you need to go as fast as the machine will take you.”
Temperatures reaching 105 degrees can be dangerous for drivers, at times affecting their ability to focus and causing the vehicle to overheat, officials said. Hunt recommends always wearing helmets, using seat belts, and having flags on your vehicle.
Around 12:15 p.m. Thursday afternoon, Washington County Search and Rescue and Sand Hollow State Park rangers responded to another report of an ATV rollover at Sand Mountain.
A 23-year-old male visiting from Los Angeles suffered a collarbone fracture after his ATV flipped and rolled over him. The male was assessed at the scene transported via ambulance.