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Local News

Semi-Truck Driver Pleas Guilty For Fatal Crash Caused By Phone Use

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A semi-truck driver has plead guilty in Third District Court. The driver was phone-shopping at the wheel last year, when he rear-ended a vehicle on U.S. 40, resulting in a crash that paralyzed the driver and caused fatal injuries to a passenger.

The defendant, 38-year-old Nathaniel Bone of Midvale, appeared in court and pled Guilty to the charge of “Text Messaging or e-mail Automobile Homicide”.  

That charge was a second-degree felony and defined as “criminal negligence”. But under a plea agreement with the county, it was reduced to a Third-degree felony, and classified as “negligence’.   Under the agreement, the county also dropped a Class B Misdemeanor charge of Texting or e-mailing while Driving.”

The county charged that on May 27th of last year shortly after midnight, Bone was driving up westbound Highway 40. He opened the KSL classifieds app on his phone and was shopping for a car for his wife.

A Saturn SL2 which had pulled into the right-hand lane ahead of him, stopped when a deer ran across the highway. Bone said when he looked up and saw the vehicle, it was too late to stop.

The driver of the Saturn, West Jordan resident Sandra Bowden, was paralyzed from the waist down due to the crash. The passenger, Duchesne resident Landon Peatross, died later from his injuries.

Third District Court Judge Patrick Corum reviewed a series of questions with the defendant, including the possible sentence he could be facing for his Guilty Plea.

The penalty for third degree felony is 0-5 years, and a maximum of almost $10,000.

Deputy County Prosecutor Ryan Stack said he had not received word from the victims in the case about the plea agreement. But he said Peatross’ family have indicated they want to move on. Bowden has said she wants to be present for the defendant’s sentencing, which is scheduled for August 6th at 11:30 a.m.

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