MANTI—More than two years after a North Sanpete High School cheerleader Sharlee Sorensen, died in a tragic car crash, cases against the two men allegedly responsible for her death are surfacing in court. One of the defendants is the victim’s brother.
Sharlee, 15, was killed on July 18, 2020, when the car in which she was a passenger, a 2012 Ford Mustang being driven by her brother Tallen Sorensen, then 19, collided with a 2019 Tesla driven by John Norman Fackrell, who was 68. The crash took place 1.5 miles south of Mt. Pleasant on U.S. 89. Witnesses said both drivers were driving aggressively, racing each other at speeds estimated to be up to 100 mph.
The vehicles were traveling southbound and were passing each other in a dangerous fashion. At one point, Fackrell was ahead of Sorensen. Then he started to brake. Sorensen swung left into the northbound lane to pass. According to witnesses, Fackrell then steered left, striking the Mustang near the passenger side door, which caused the vehicle to rotate and go airborne. The Mustang landed, then jumped a ditch and rolled once before sliding to a stop.
Sharlee was seriously injured and was flown by helicopter to Primary Children’s Hospital where she later died.
Fackrell and Tallen Sorensen were each charged with criminal homicide and negligent homicide involving a motor vehicle. The crimes were charged as Class A misdemeanors. The maximum penalty is a $2,500 fine and one year in jail.
Fackell was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Monday, but the proceeding was postponed to Oct. 26.
Sorensen is scheduled to make his initial appearance on Oct. 28 and is expected to plead “not guilty.”
Sanpete County Attorney Kevin Daniels said, “The reason the cases have taken so long to get to this point is because the Highway Patrol was extra careful about their investigation.”
He said that because of the length of the investigation, because the charges were not with felonies and because neither defendant presented a flight risk, Sorensen and Fackrell were booked and released rather than incarcerated.
Four people were in the two vehicles at the time of the accident, but none of the other three suffered significant injuries.