OREM, Utah (ABC4) — Siena Schoenrock was planning to run a half marathon in Las Vegas next month. The 17-year-old Provo High School senior was out Monday evening training for the race.
But she didn’t make it back home. The teenage athlete, who played on Utah’s premier youth soccer club, was fatally struck by a car in Orem, not far from where her family lives.
“She was just the most loving, inclusive, wonderful, perfect person,” her mother, Alin Schoenrock, told ABC4. “She was just a beautiful, beautiful person.”
Schoenrock’s death marks one of several collisions involving pedestrians on Utah roads this month. Since Friday, six people have been struck, three of them fatally.
The most recent fatal crash, which happened Thursday, occurred on the same stretch of road in Cottonwood Heights where a 12-year-old boy was severely hurt on Monday.
According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, the number of pedestrians getting hit by cars is spiking. So far this year, there’ve been more than 660 crashes involving pedestrians statewide.
“The trend over the last few weeks has been alarming,” said Jason Mettmann, communications manager for the Utah Highway Safety Office.
Drivers in these crashes are often failing to yield the right of way, he said. Many of the victims are teenagers or young children, often struck just as they enter the roadway.
“Drivers are simply not obeying the signs and signals that are out there, whether that’s crosswalks marked on the pavement or lightened crosswalks in a school zone,” Mettmann said.
In the crash that killed Schoenrock, the driver stopped at the scene. While it’s yet unclear what exactly led to the fatal collision, an investigation is still ongoing.
Olivia Holloway, who went to elementary school with Schoenrock’s sister, witnessed the aftermath of the crash.
“I was just horrified,” she said, noting that she didn’t think such a collision would be possible in the area, which is near an elementary school.
In the wake of the disturbing experience, she said she’s been posting on social media, encouraging others to put away distractions when driving.
Holloway also made changes to her own habits.
“I am getting everything ready before I even put my car in drive,” she said.
While the Schoenrock family grieves, the community has rallied around them.
Along with creating a memorial of flowers, candles and hand-written notes, community members have also raised more than $50,000 in an online fundraiser for the family.
Schoenrock’s funeral is slated for Saturday in Orem.