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A 15-year-old Provo girl who suffered burns on over half of her body during a fiery off-road vehicle accident in July died Monday after she was taken off of life support.
Baylee Hoaldridge suffered third-degree burns on more than 60 percent of her body after the rented utility terrain vehicle (UTV) she was riding in crashed and burst into flames on July 4.
The Hoaldridges' family attorney Paxton Guymon confirmed the death Tuesday and said in a statement that the family is "heartbroken."
"The Hoaldridge family expresses their deep gratitude to the countless people across the country and throughout the world who have prayed from them, sent messages of encouragement and hope and stood by them through the ups and downs of the past several months," Guymon said in the statement.
Four people the girl, her father, grandfather and a 5-year-old cousin were riding in a Polaris RZR 900 when it crashed near Mona, east of Interstate 15 on Cemetery Lane, the Juab County Sheriff's Office reported.
While all four were hurt, only Baylee was injured critically.
Sheriff's investigators believe the vehicle characterized as a side-by-side was traveling too fast to make a turn and then rolled. Less than a minute after some of the riders were freed from the vehicle, it burst into flames.
Guymon said he and another family attorney, Jeff Eisenberg, are committed to "obtaining justice" for the family, saying they believe Polaris is responsible for the fire that burned the teenager.
"Polaris must take responsibility for the fire hazards caused by the design and manufacture of these vehicles," Guymon said.
In October, Polaris recalled 53,000 UTV vehicles, including the year and model that the Hoaldridge family rented in July. The vehicles were recalled, according to Polaris' website, because the fuel tank vent line can be misrouted, and pinched. This can cause the fuel tank to pressurize, leak fuel and pose a "fire hazard," according to the recall information.
Guymon said Polaris asserts that this was not the cause of the fire in the Hoaldridges' case, but he says the family's attorneys disagree.
"The Polaris UTV was obviously defective," Guymon said. "A machine like this should never catch fire just from tipping on its side."
A fundraising account, Blessings for Baylee, has been set up to help her family raise money for medical expenses.