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Civil Suit Filed Against Dump Truck Driver Who Caused Crash That Resulted In Six Deaths

Utah Department Of Public Safety

The dump truck driver who is facing criminal charges for an accident on Highway 40 that killed six people has also been hit with a civil lawsuit from the wife of one of the victims.

The lawsuit against 41-year-old Jamie Don McKenzie is also aimed at the construction company that employed him.

The wrongful death lawsuit was entered in Wasatch County’s Fourth District Court in late November. It was filed by Karla Yuseth Arrozola. Arrozola a Honduran citizen, on behalf of her late husband Jossedelvin Navarro Valle.

The suit says that on October 19th, McKenzie was driving on Highway 40, weaving in and out of traffic at high speed, when he lost control of the dump truck, crossed the median, jumped the cable barrier, and struck head-on a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction.

All six passengers in that vehicle, including the plaintiff’s husband died in the crash.

The suit says that McKenzie was intoxicated and was grossly negligent and utterly indifferent to the fact he was driving at high speed and not in control of his vehicle.

The suit also names the Heber firm High Mountain Construction which owned the truck and was allegedly employing McKenzie at the time of the crash. The lawsuit says the company should have known McKenzie was dangerous and incompetent due to his criminal background, and history of alcohol and drug abuse and reckless driving.

The plaintiff, citing medical and funeral expenses and mental anguish, is asking for undefined actual and exemplary damages.

McKenzie is facing six criminal County of Auto Homicide Negligence and DUI and two counts of DUI.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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