Police: Driver Admitted To Drinking Before Hitting Pedestrians

Dec 9, 2019, 6:49 PM | Updated: 6:51 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A Clearfield man allegedly admitted to drinking at a bar before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and hitting two people in a crosswalk, according to officials with the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Police said 23-year-old Justin Williford was heading eastbound when he struck the two people at the intersection of 300 South and 500 East around 2 a.m. on Saturday.

One of the victims, 40-year-old John Hautau, was killed; the other victim was in critical condition. Williford was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail and could face automobile homicide charges.

According to police, Williford failed to walk straight during a nine-step sobriety test.

“Our officers pulled him over and conducted a field sobriety test, they did smell alcohol on his breath and he did admit to drinking at a local bar and getting in his car and driving,” said Christina Judd, director of media relations with the Salt Lake City Police Department. “Really it’s the most awful thing you can do this time of year with the road conditions and the visibility.”

Judd said there have been 106 auto-pedestrian accidents in Salt Lake City since June 1. That’s about a 30% jump from the same time last year where they had 82, and about a 47% jump from 2017 when they reported 72 accidents.

“We would like it to be zero, 106 is just a lot,” Judd said. “It’s horrible for the family members of those who are hit and involved in those…[if you are drinking] we really want you to find another way home and try and spare the lives of those who are on the road with you.”

RELATED: Victim Killed In Auto-Pedestrian Crash Identified

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Police: Driver Admitted To Drinking Before Hitting Pedestrians