Dump Truck Driver Accused In Fatal Crash Had Extensive Criminal History

Oct 22, 2018, 10:29 PM | Updated: Oct 23, 2018, 12:06 am

Viridiana Cardenas is sharing memories of the man she calls the best father in the world...

Viridiana Cardenas is sharing memories of the man she calls the best father in the world

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The dump truck driver accused in a deadly crash that killed six people is now facing charges on automobile homicide and driving under the influence. There are new concerns over whether that driver, Jamie McKenzie, should even have been allowed behind the wheel of a commercial dump truck.

Court documents reveal an extensive criminal history of alcohol-related offenses dating back 20 years.

On Monday, KSL asked questions of investigators and spoke with the family of one of the victims.

From the front yard of the Salt Lake City home she shared with her late father, Viridiana Cardenas is sharing memories of the man she calls the best father in the world.

“He was the most loving person you would ever see,” said Cardenas.

She said her father, Efrain Cardenas, supported their family in every sense of the word.

“He was the pillar of this house,” she said. “He was everything for us and my kids.”

Efrain Cardenas was behind the wheel of the pickup truck that was struck head-on by a dump truck on Friday.

She says also in the pickup were three brothers and two cousins from one family – all returning from working out of state.

The grief is overwhelming and there is confusion as to how this could even happen.

“I don’t understand how a person with that record can drive,” she said through tears.

According to court records, the driver of the dump truck, Jamie McKenzie has a history of alcohol-related offenses behind the wheel.

KSL reached out to the owner of the company McKenzie drove for, High Mountain Construction. All our calls were not returned, and even a knock at the door to his Heber City home went unanswered.

We reached out to the Motor Carrier Division of UDOT. Their investigators have also been unsuccessful with reaching the owner of the company.

They can confirm to KSL, though, that the company itself has no past history of safety violations and were up to date with current inspections. Their investigation will continue until they too get answers; answers that might provide some closure, but will never bring back a beloved father and grandfather.

“Right now, if you ask me? I want justice,” said Viridiana.

The family is now struggling to pay for expenses related to the funeral for their father. There is a memorial fund at any Wells Fargo Bank under the name of Efrain Cardenas.

KSL 5 TV Live


A nurse at Utah Valley Hospital was charged Tuesday with aggravated child abuse involving a 1-month...

Pat Reavy

Nurse arrested, charged with injuring 1-month-old at Provo hospital

A nurse at Utah Valley Hospital has been arrested and charged with being too rough with an infant under his care.

9 hours ago


Garna Mejia and Eliza Pace, KSL TV

Police: two men deported multiple times arrested again on drug charges

Two men were arrested after Cottonwood Heights Police confiscated thousands of dollars’ worth of drugs Monday afternoon.

10 hours ago

Salt Lake City Police car...

Mark Jones

SLCPD investigating the theft of Pride flags as a hate crime

The Salt Lake City Police Department is seeking the public's assistance in identifying the individual or individuals responsible for stealing several Pride flags.

12 hours ago

FILE: Salt Lake City Police patrol car (Salt Lake City Police Department, file photo)...

Pat Reavy,

Twin brothers arrested, accused of shooting at Salt Lake neighbor

Two twin brothers have been arrested and accused of shooting at their neighbor.

13 hours ago

FILE - In this image taken from police body camera video provided by the Moab Police Department, Ga...

Shawn Nottingham, CNN

Lawsuit alleges Brian Laundrie shared with his parents that Gabby Petito was ‘gone’

Brian Laundrie told his parents Gabby Petito was "gone" in a frantic phone call three weeks before her remains were discovered, according to an amended civil complaint.

17 hours ago

(FILE) Logan police arrested a man Monday afternoon following a short pursuit in a stolen vehicle....

Mark Jones

Logan police arrest man following a short pursuit in stolen vehicle

Logan police say a 35-year-old man is in custody following a short pursuit Monday afternoon.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Dump Truck Driver Accused In Fatal Crash Had Extensive Criminal History