Charges filed against Midvale man in U.S. 40 fatal
A Midvale man involved in a crash in May on U.S. 40 that killed a Duchesne man and paralyzed a West Jordan woman was browsing the internet on his phone at the time of the accident, according to court documents.
Nathaniel Richard Bone, 37, was formally charged in Summit County’s 3rd District Court on Dec. 1 with one count of text messaging or email automobile homicide, a second-degree felony, and one count of texting or emailing while driving, a class B misdemeanor, according to court documents. Automobile homicide, which is the most serious charge, is punishable upon conviction by between one and 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
At around 12:10 a.m. Saturday, May 27, Utah Highway Patrol troopers responded to an injury accident involving a semi-tractor trailer and a 1998 Saturn Sedan in the westbound lanes of U.S. 40 near mile marker 6 in Summit County, according to court documents.
Bone’s Kenworth tractor trailer was pulling two tankers filled with crude oil when it rear-ended the Saturn Sedan, scattering debris across the highway, according to court documents. The documents state the Saturn Sedan was severely damaged and the rear bumper was smashed into the back of the front seats of the vehicle. Investigators did not see any brake or tire marks on the road, documents state. The driver of the Saturn, Sandra Bowden, 40, of West Jordan, complained of back pain when troopers found her and was transported in a medical helicopter to a hospital in Salt Lake County, documents state. She sustained several broken ribs and lacerated organs, and was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the accident, according to court documents.
A passenger in the vehicle, Landon Peatross, 41 of Duchesne, was transported to Park City Hospital and pronounced dead within 40 minutes of the crash.
Documents state Bone, who was traveling from the Uintah basin to a refinery in Salt Lake City, was visibly upset when he was approached by troopers. He originally told them he had looked down at his GPS device prior to the collision and was unable to stop when he approached the Saturn in his lane.
Later in the investigation, Bone told investigators he “had to tell the truth” and that he was browsing KSL.com on his phone to look at cars before the crash, according to court documents. He claimed he was traveling approximately 35 miles per hour before the crash and did not expect another vehicle to be stopped in his lane.
According to court documents, Bone told an investigator with the State Bureau of Investigation he picked up his phone thinking, “I need to find a car for my wife.” He went on, “I got on the phone and got on the internet, just was glancing while I was driving,” documents state.
Bone’s truck was equipped with an in-car dash camera, which showed Bowden’s Saturn passed him in the left lane when his truck was traveling around 32 miles per hour, according to court documents. Her brake lights were activated when she was in the left lane and still ahead of Bone, documents state.
Bowden’s Saturn then merged into the right westbound lane. About four seconds before the crash, her vehicle’s brake lights were not turned on, documents state. The footage shows a deer appeared to run across the highway in front of Bowden’s Saturn immediately before the accident, according to court documents. Bone’s tractor trailer hit the Saturn while it was traveling 39 miles per hour.
A blood test and chemical analysis conducted after the accident was negative for drugs and alcohol, court documents state.
Summit County Prosecuting Attorney Ryan Stack said Bone is not currently in custody. His first court appearance is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Jan. 8, 2018.
Stack said he is unaware if Bone has retained an attorney.
A former Summit County victim advocate who was facing a felony count of misusing public money pleaded guilty Tuesday to a lesser charge in a deal with prosecutors.