WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (KSTU) -- One person is dead and five homes were evacuated Thursday night after West Valley City police spiked a stolen vehicle with three teens inside that crashed into a home, causing a gas leak.
The victim who died was later identified by police as 24-year-old Adrian Hernandez-Rodriguez.
According to West Valley City Public Information Officer Roxeanne Vainuku, at around 8:30 p.m. police spotted a stolen vehicle on 3100 South Redwood Road and began following it from a distance in an unmarked car.
After making a turn to go westbound into a neighborhood, three teens exited the vehicle. Police took two of the teens, a 17-year-old male and a 16-year-old female into custody, but the driver, a 15-year-old male, returned to the car and drove away.
An officer down the road saw the teen get back in the car and threw spike strips down preemptively in an attempt to disable the vehicle, but a pursuit was never initiated by police officers.
"The fact that the strips were put out does not make this a pursuit, the strips were put out simply in an effort to stop that vehicle from going mobile or from going any further than it was," Vainuku explained.
After being spiked, the vehicle sped away.
A few hundred yards later, the teen driver went around a curve and lost control, crashing through the yards of two homes and destroying the front room of the second home. The car eventually hit a person who was standing in a yard before finally crashing into a third yard and stopping when it struck a vehicle.
The person struck Hernandez-Rodriguez, who was declared deceased at the scene.
Officials detailed that the man did not live at the home but did live nearby and called the situation a "tragedy."
"I mean, this is an absolute tragedy," Vainuku said. "You have a person who's just standing outside, minding their own business as innocent as could be and someone makes a terrible choice and causes terrible damage and I just, it's absolutely tragic for this family."
Because one of the homes struck by the vehicle had its gas meter sheared off. Five nearby homes were evacuated as crews worked to contain the gas leak, eventually having to tear up the road in the process.
Residents were allowed back in their homes just a few hours later after crews stopped up the gas.
The identities of the three teens who were taken into custody were not made available by police.
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