Escondido boy killed, family injured when teen driver loses control of van

ESCONDIDO, Calif. - A rollover crash on Interstate 15 in Utah killed a 12-year-old Escondido boy and seriously injured several family members, authorities said.

Alex Speer was identified by the Utah Highway Patrol as the family member killed in the crash that occurred shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday, according to the Deseret News.

He was one of two boys thrown from a minivan when it rolled several times on southbound I-15 near Fillmore, around two hours south of Salt Lake City.

Utah Highway Patrol officials said in a statement that a teenage girl with a learner's permit was driving when for unknown reasons, the van drifted off the left side of the freeway, the Deseret News reported.

The driver steered sharply to the right in an attempt to correct the drift, causing the van to veer across both lanes of southbound traffic before rolling several times, crossing over a fence and coming to a rest on the right side of a frontage road, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.

A 14-year-old boy and Alex Speer were thrown from the vehicle. The teen driver and her 48-year-old father, Barry Speer, who was in the passenger seat, were airlifted to Utah Valley Hospital in Provo, according to Utah Highway Patrol.

Other family members, including mother Jennifer Speer, were seriously injured and taken to a hospital in Fillmore. A 9-year-old boy in the van was not seriously injured, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.

The family was returning to Escondido from a trip to Idaho when they crashed, according to a GoFundMe page set up by family friends.

"Words can't express our sadness over Alex's passing. So thankful that families are forever. Praying for your complete healing and comfort," Allison Chapman posted on the GoFundMe page encouraging others to donate.

As of Tuesday morning, the page had raised over $10,500 of its $20,000 goal.

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