Timeline Released Of Case Involving Man Who Fatally Injured Officer
Nov 27, 2018, 12:04 PM | Updated: 12:05 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Department of Public Safety on Monday released a statement and a timeline regarding a crash investigation involving Felix Calata, the man responsible for fatally injuring a South Salt Lake Police officer Nov. 24.
Calata, 31, intentionally hit officer David Romrell with a vehicle during a confrontation following an attempted burglary. Calata was shot and killed by police during the confrontation.
In March, Calata was involved in a crash on Bangerter Highway and California Avenue in Salt Lake City, which killed one person and sent two others, including Calata, to the hospital.
The crash happened after Calata attempted to flee a Utah Department of Natural Resources officer who found him and a passenger with drug paraphernalia inside a parked Jeep Cherokee, according to reports.
While the case involving the crash was ongoing, Calata was arrested and later released on separate warrants. He had been released from jail approximately one month before he hit Romrell.
He had not been charged for the fatal incident on Bangerter Highway.
“The length of our investigations are dependent on the details and circumstances surrounding each case,” according to the DPS statement. “In this case, DPS investigators were waiting for multiple reports leading up to their meetings with prosecutors. This included a reconstruction report which was complex due to the nature of the crash.”
This is the timeline of events provided by the DPS.
The crash, involving the Jeep Cherokee, driven by Calata, and a Chevrolet Sonic, happened at Bangerter Highway and California Avenue. The investigation began, and hospital staff stated that Calata would be in the hospital for at least four days.
An investigator interviewed Calata in the hospital.
An investigator interviewed the driver of the Chevy, who was also in the hospital.
Officials obtained a warrant for the electronic devices in the Jeep so investigators could conduct a scan for crash reconstruction.
Investigators processed the Jeep for reconstruction.
Investigators processed the Chevy for reconstruction.
Investigators submitted a subpoena for medical records.
Investigators received subpoenas for the medical records of both Calata and the driver of the Chevy.
Investigators received subpoenaed medical records.
The Utah Highway Patrol notified investigators of the completion of a fatal report. The report didn’t include a scale diagram, field sketch, safety inspection or reconstruction of the crash scene.
UHP completed a scale diagram.
DPS entered the case into the Police Information Management System.
The DPS scheduled a screening with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office for June 20.
The SLC District Attorney’s Office contacted the DPS to cancel the screening. The DA wanted to postpone the meeting until reconstruction of the incident had been completed.
Investigators received the medical examiner’s report.
During a traffic stop, the UHP took Calata into custody after discovering he had unrelated warrants issued for his arrest. He was taken to the Salt Lake County Jail where he was held until mid-October.
The UHP’s reconstruction was completed.
Investigators received a copy of the reconstruction report from the Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team.
DPS scheduled a screening date with the Salt Lake County DA to be held Sept. 12. The screening was later canceled due to scheduling conflicts.
August / September
DPS followed up on analysis of the crash investigation during meetings between various investigating teams. The DPS timeline doesn’t specify how many meetings took place over the two-month period.
Investigators conducted another interview with the driver of the Chevy.
Investigators conducted another interview with Calata while he was at the Salt Lake County Jail.
Investigators requested and received jail calls for Calata.
DPS rescheduled the screening date with the DA for Oct. 24
DPS and the DA met to screen the case. The District Attorney’s office assigned a prosecutor for follow-up.
DPS received a request for information on the traffic light sequencing, and investigators requested assistance from the Utah Department of Transportation.
Investigators received contact from UDOT, and they scheduled a meeting for Nov. 14.
A UDOT engineer provided raw traffic signal data to investigators. DPS notified the District Attorney’s Office that there was new information and requested a new screening.
The Salt Lake County DA contacted DPS to set up a screening for Dec. 6.
Investigators received the UDOT report explaining traffic light data.