Two toddlers killed in Utah by driver ‘high on meth’

Two toddlers killed in Utah by driver ‘high on meth’
Boys were ‘playing, innocently in the sand with their toy trucks’

A 25-year-old male driver allegedly under the influence of meth crashed into a horse stable in Utah, killing two three-year-old boys, according to police.

On Monday night, the toddlers were playing inside the barn in Eagle Mountain, a city roughly 30 miles south of Salt Lake City, when Kent Cody Barlow, 25, allegedly “rolled into” the horse stable and hit the boys.

Deputies responding to the scene and found the two boys “75 feet from where they were playing”. Both were immediately pronounced dead, the sheriff’s office said in a statement on Tuesday.

Mr Barlow’s passengers told Utah County Sheriff investigators that he was “travelling 80-100 MPH and was ‘drifting’ (sliding the car) as he drove” into the barn.

Moments before, he had crashed through at least four types of fence, including one main of steel, and was “launched in the air” after colliding with a “large cement block”, the sheriff’s office said.

“Witnesses told Deputies they saw the car driving recklessly, weaving or drifting into oncoming traffic, traveling near or faster than 100 MPH, and running a stop sign immediately before crashing,” said the Utah County Sheriff’s office.

“From where the car first left the pavement, to where it came to rest, was about 345 feet,” the sheriff added of the vehicle, which was carrying three passengers and eventually came to a stop upside down.

The driver, Mr Barlow, was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries and three passengers were taken to hospital. All three were thought to have since been released.

<p>The vehicle involved in the crash on Monday</p>

The vehicle involved in the crash on Monday

Police said “during the investigation Deputies and Detectives found evidence that the driver was impaired.” That was followed by a drug screening that showed alleged drug use of the substance commonly known as crystal meth.

Mr Barlow, who was possibly in violation of parole for a separate crime, was booked into jail on multiple charges following his release from hospital.

“We of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office express our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of these two sweet boys,” said the sheriff’s office of the two toddlers.

<p>Toy trucks left behind the two victims at the scene of the crash </p>

Toy trucks left behind the two victims at the scene of the crash

“Their loss is a senseless tragedy and we can only imagine the depth of the grief now being carried by their families.  Our prayers are with them as they walk this incredibly difficult path.”

A GoFundMe set up for the two boys, who the sheriff’s office named as Odin Ratliff and Hunter Jackson, has so far raised $65,752 (£52,529).

It said the three-year-olds were “playing, innocently in the sand with their toy trucks” and that the pair “have been best friends from the start”. The stable was meanwhile described as a “second home”.

It was not clear if Mr Barlow had a lawyer.