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Driver Arrested For Hit And Run Fatality In Oldtown

Park City Police

Park City Police arrested a driver for a local ski rental company on charges that he fled the scene of a fatal auto-pedestrian accident that took placed in Oldtown Feb 6th.   

Police reported that they arrested 23-year-old Nicholas Thorston Westland, of Salt Lake City, and booked him into the County Jail.

A probable Cause Affidavit said he was driving a van heading northbound at 1482 Empire Avenue, which hit 43-year-old Thomas Chauvel, of Corona Del Mar, California.  Chauvel was walking in the road when he was hit.

In the affidavit, a police detective said that at about 7:15, he was dispatched to the scene, where a doctor and the victim’s wife were present.   The victim had blood all over his face, was unconscious and was having trouble breathing.

He was transported by ambulance to the University of Utah Medical Center, and died later from his injuries.

A witness reported a Chevrolet Express van had left the scene, belonging to the firm Black Tie Ski Rental.   The witness took a picture of the license plate.    After police contacted the business, the driver, identified as Westland, returned to the scene.

An officer asked Westland if he saw the pedestrian.    Westland said, “No sir he was out in the middle of the road but was on the other side he was here.”   He said he was going the speed limit of 25 MPH.    He said anyone’s first reaction would have been to be terribly scared, uttering an expletive.   When told how badly Chauvel was injured,  Westland said, “I cannot stress it enough how immature I acted.”

The suspect was taken to the Park City Police Station.   Before being read his rights, Westland said he felt horrible, added “I have never felt like this.  It is not even scary”.  He said the victim was just walking in the road and he didn’t see him.

Later, after being read his rights, Westland told another officer he wanted to tell him everything.    He said he heard a thud and “I immediately pulled over.  I got out of my van.  I saw that it is a person.  I am completely in disarray.  I am sitting there.  I am sitting there.   I try to look for a towel.  I got back up to the guy.  The cop says alright everyone leave.  I turned around and got in my van.  I told myself I have to go back to the shop.   My night is over.”

Westland was arrested on a charge of “Failure to Remain at an Accident Involving Death.”    Summit County Justice Court set his bail at $20,000

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covers Summit County meetings and issues. KPCW snagged him from The Park Record in the '80s, and he's been on air and covering the entire county ever since. He produces the Week In Review podcast, as well a heads the Friday Film Review team.
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