Investigation says Sharlee Sorensen death
caused by drivers racing each other
By Rhett Wilkinson
MT. PLEASANT—In a July 18 car accident that killed 15-year-old North Sanpete High School cheerleader Sharlee Sorensen, witnesses reported the drivers of the two vehicles involved appeared to be racing each other.
The accident 1.5 miles south of Mt. Pleasant caused the car Sharlee was riding in to rotate, go airborne, jump a ditch and roll, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.
The racers were John Fackrell, 67, and Tallen Sorensen, 19. Charges are pending against Fackrell, according to the UHP.
Witnesses said that Fackrell and Tallen Sorensen were each driving “aggressively,” making dangerous passes and estimated their speeds to be between 80 and 100 mph in a 65 mph speed zone, according to the UHP report.
Fackrell and Tallen Sorensen were both southbound on U.S. 89. Fackrell was in front of Tallen Sorensen when he started to brake. Tallen Sorensen moved into the northbound lane to pass Fackrell. As Tallen Sorensen was passing on the left, Fackrell changed lanes to the left, according to the report.
“The front driver side corner panel of [Fackrell’s 2019 Tesla] struck near the passenger side door and rear wheel of [Tallen Sorensen’s 2012 Ford Mustang]. The impact caused the rear of [the Mustang] to become airborne as it rotated,” the report stated.
“The rear of [the Mustang] landed and then the vehicle jumped a ditch. When the vehicle landed on the other side of the ditch, it rolled once before sliding to a stop.”
Sharlee Sorensen was flown on a helicopter to Primary Children’s Hospital where she died from injuries, according to the report.
A 14-year-old female was also in Tallen Sorensen’s vehicle, according to the report. Both vehicles were impounded for street racing/exhibition of speed.
The accident occurred at 1:50 p.m. on July 18, according to the report. The first officer arrived on scene at 2:12 p.m., said Det. Derick Taysom of the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office.
All four individuals involved in the crash were wearing seatbelts, according to the UHP report.