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Two teens from same Utah high school die in unrelated accidents

Published May 19, 2014 4:07 pm

Police • Brooks Johnson and Austin Mcelyea died in separate accidents over the weekend.
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Students at Snow Canyon High School are mourning the loss of two classmates who died over the weekend in separate accidents.

Brooks Johnson, 18, died Saturday during a jeep accident in Mohave County, Ariz.

Austin Mcelyea, 17, died when an ATV collided with him while he was driving a motorcycle in Veyo on Sunday.

Principal Warren Brooks told the St. George News that both teens were students at Snow Canyon High School. A vigil for Johnson was well-attended on Sunday evening, the principal said, and another vigil for Mcelyea was planned for Monday evening in front of the high school.

Johnson was one of four people traveling in a Jeep late Saturday evening on BLM Road 1069, about 30 miles south of St. George. Mohave County sheriff's spokeswoman Trish Carter said the Jeep, believed to be traveling at a high rate of speed, left the roadway and rolled, ejecting Johnson. He died at the scene.

The driver, Brayden Oaks, 18, of Washington, Utah, and Jace William Graft, 20, of Ivins, were taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries.

Carter said that while speed appeared to have been a factor, alcohol was not.

The accident remained under investigation Monday.

Mcelyea died Sunday near southwest Snow Canyon State Park. Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Jacob Hicks said an ATV was following Mcelyea's dirt bike southbound on Spanish Trail Drive at about 5 p.m. when Mcelyea stopped near Interstate 15 northbound and the ATV struck the rear tire of the motorcycle — causing the ATV to roll and the bike catapult.

Mcelyea ­— despite wearing a helmet —was killed on impact.

The 27-year-old ATV driver,of Brookside, Utah, escaped with minor injuries.

Hicks said the ATV driver was booked into Washington County Jail pending results from blood toxicology tests. He was being held Monday in lieu of $5,000 bail.


Twitter: @jm_miller




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