Midvale man reaches plea deal in U.S. 40 fatal crash
June 19, 2018
A Midvale man charged with automobile homicide following a crash on U.S. 40 in Summit County in 2017 that killed a Duchesne man and paralyzed a West Jordan woman reached a plea agreement with prosecutors on Monday.
Nathaniel Richard Bone, 38, pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony count of automobile homicide in Summit County's 3rd District Court. He has to report to Summit County's Adult Probation and Parole as a condition of the plea bargain.
In exchange for the plea, prosecutors lowered the charge from a second-degree felony to a third-degree felony and dropped one count of texting or emailing while driving, a class B misdemeanor. He now faces a possible sentence of zero to five years in Utah State Prison and a $5,000 fine. His sentencing is scheduled at 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 6.
Summit County Prosecutor Ryan Stack told the court the female victim and her family had been made aware of the plea bargain. He said the family of the Duchesne man did not indicate if they were comfortable with the resolution, but expressed a desire to move on.
Bone's Kenworth tractor trailer was pulling two tankers filled with crude oil when he rear-ended a 1998 Saturn Sedan in the westbound lanes of U.S. 40 near mile marker 6 in Summit County in May 2017.
Court documents state the Saturn Sedan was severely damaged and the rear bumper was smashed into the back of the front seats of the vehicle. 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. She sustained several broken ribs and lacerated organs, and was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the accident, according to charging documents.
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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, originally told police 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.
Bone's truck was equipped with an in-car dash camera, which showed Bowden's Saturn passing 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.
Footage from the camera on Bone's truck showed a deer appear 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.