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3-year-old killed in Provo crash identified

April 19, 2018

PROVO — Police on Monday identified a 3-year-old girl who died in a four-car crash Sunday afternoon.

Chelsea Parkinson died in the crash and an 8-month-old girl, who was not identified, remained in critical condition, but stable condition Monday, Provo police said.

The children’s mother, who was the front passenger during the crash, remained hospitalized in stable condition.

The father, who was in the driver’s seat, suffered several fractures and was released from the hospital Monday.

Emergency crews responded to a report of a crash at the intersection of University Avenue and 3700 North shortly after 4:45 p.m. Sunday, according to Provo police.

Police said three cars were waiting in the southbound left-turn lane on University Avenue when a Pleasant Grove utility truck came up behind them and struck the third car in line, a red station wagon, and pushing it into the two vehicles in front of it.

Heather Milburn, who works as a nurse, was prompted to stop at the scene of the accident.

“I noticed there were no first responders and I just thought, ‘I’m a nurse, I’m supposed to pull over and try to help,’” she said.

Milburn rushed to the aid of the woman in the passenger seat. She stabilized her neck and tried to communicate with her.

But there was nothing she could do for the 3-year-old girl in the backseat.

“I looked at the girl and I knew,” Milburn said while fighting back tears. “And a nice man came up as I was checking the girl’s pulse and he said, ‘What do you feel?’ And I said, ‘I don’t feel anything.’

“He said, ‘But she’s warm,’ and I said, ‘She’s gone.’”

Milburn said her life is forever changed after witnessing the scene of the accident.

“I’ll always think of that little girl when I look at my son,” she said. “I just came home and cried and played with my kid and thought I’m so lucky to have him here and safe.”

Investigators finished reconstructing the accident Monday to find the utility truck was traveling 50 mph, which is the road’s speed limit, but did not brake before crashing, said Provo police detective Nick Dupaix. The truck then traveled 69 feet after the impact.

Police declined to say whether they believed the truck driver was distracted or impaired pending the ongoing investigation.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family to help with medical costs.