Driver in accident that killed a Park City woman ordered to stand trial
A Third District Court Judge decided on Monday prosecutors have enough evidence to proceed with a second-degree automobile homicide charge against Stuart Riley Miller, who is accused of driving the wrong-way on Interstate 80 and killing a Park City woman.
Miller, who is 31 years old and from Kamas, appeared wearing shackles in Summit County’s Third District Court before Judge Kara Pettit. Pettit scheduled an arraignment on Sept. 26.
Miller faces an automobile homicide charge, a second-degree felony, and open container, a Class C misdemeanor, stemming from a March accident that left killed Park City resident Amanda K. Streit. Automobile homicide carries a sentence of one-to-15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine upon conviction.
Pettit’s decision to bind Miller over for trial came at the end of a preliminary hearing that included evidence and testimony from law enforcement officials, with an agent with the Utah Bureau of Investigation among the witnesses testifying.
Miller, who has spent the last five months in the Summit County Jail, only spoke a few words during the nearly two-hour hearing. He did not testify and has retained Justin Pratt as his attorney.
Stephen Matthews, a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol, said he was dispatched to an injury-accident near milepost 146 on Interstate 80 on March 28. He testified that when he arrived he noticed Streit’s Saturn Vue nearly 200 feet up the road, adding the driver of the vehicle was deceased.
Matthews said he found Miller’s Yukon GMC on the shoulder where the ramp merges with the Interstate. He said he saw Miller sitting outside of the Yukon near the driver’s side door.
“When I walked up to the vehicle, it had a decal on the back window that said ‘ProTrans’ and it had a California registration,” Matthews said. “On the rear view mirror was a lanyard and airport security parking pass that had a picture and a name on it that read Stuart Miller.”
According to its website, ProTrans Transportation shuttles clients from Salt Lake City International Airport to Park City and resorts in the area. The company, which is based in Park City, tags itself as “the most affordable Large SUV and Van transportation to Salt Lake City Airport, Park City, & Deer Valley.” A message seeking comment from ProTrans was not returned.
Matthews also explained that he was responsible for conducting the blood draw on Miller at Park City Medical Center. According to testimony, Miller had a blood-alcohol concentration of .18 grams per deciliter of blood nearly two hours after the accident. The legal limit is .08.
“When Trooper (Jake) Butcher and I walked into the emergency room he was in, the curtain was closed. When we opened that curtain and walked in that area I could smell a strong odor of alcoholic beverage,” Matthews said. “He had glassy, bloodshot eyes and some cuts and scrapes on his face. I noticed on one of his legs he had a bandage on it.”
Miller claimed to have gone to an early showing of the Batman vs. Superman movie the day of the accident, according to Shawn Thomas, an agent with the Utah State Bureau of Investigation. Thomas said Miller admitted to drinking some Jim Beam whiskey and later driving. Emergency responders found a nearly empty bottle of Jim Beam in the center console of Miller’s vehicle.
Thomas said when questioned, Miller’s responses were vague and “required a lot of thought.” He said a woman, identified as Miller’s girlfriend, was with him at the hospital.
During cross-examination by Miller’s attorney, Pratt questioned Matthews about his training as a phlebotomist and the procedure he followed when drawing Miller’s blood. He also attempted to raise doubts about the expiration dates on the vials that were used to collect the samples.
Members of Streit’s family attended and were often seen wiping away tears. When Miller made his first court appearance in April, they held up her picture throughout the hearing. Streit, who was 39 years old when she died, was known by friends for her work with the National Ability Center and Chrysalis working with adults with disabilities.
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