A Layton, Utah, teenager who purposefully crashed into a vehicle to commit suicide will be tried as an adult for the death of the other driver and passenger.
Around 1:10 a.m. on June 30, Marilee Patricia Gardner, 16, was traveling nearly 100 mph in a SUV when she rear ended a Hyundai Accent, KSL reports. The car’s occupants, driver Maddison Haan, 20, and passenger Tyler Christianson, 19, both died.
Haan was killed instantly, and Christianson died in the hospital from injuries he sustained in the crash.
He “suffered severe head trauma and was not breathing when the ambulance first arrived,” his cousin Erica Engstrom wrote on a YouCaring page created to raise funds for his funeral expenses.
Christianson was on life support from the moment he arrived at the hospital. His parents made the decision to turn the machines off since he had already been pronounced brain dead.
The speed limit on the road where the fatal crash took place is 45 mph, KSL reports.
Gardner did not remain at the crash site, instead, she fled to a nearby grocery store and called her father. She told him about the car crash and that she "might have hurt someone."
Talking to police, Gardner admitted she planned to kill herself that evening.
She said she planned on “purchasing drugs, taking the drugs, and then crashing her mother’s car with [her and a friend] inside in an attempt to kill themselves.” Gardner was on the way to the friend’s home in Roy when she crashed into Haan’s vehicle.
The plan was part of a suicide pact, according to charging documents.
It was when an officer tried to pull Gardner over because a plastic garbage can was dragging beneath the SUV that she accelerated her vehicle and hit the other car intentionally.
She “rapidly accelerated her vehicle and purposely crashed” into the Hyundai “in an attempt to kill herself,” the charges state.
Gardner had previously run away from home, had a history of being suicidal and was recently hospitalized for treatment.
She will be tried as an adult on two counts of murder, failing to stop at the command of an officer and failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving death, all felony offenses.