LOCAL NEWS

‘I wish I could forget it’: Witness describes responding to two cyclists hit in southern Utah

Apr 11, 2022, 10:19 AM | Updated: Jun 20, 2022, 12:55 pm

FILE (St. George Police Department Facebook)...

FILE (St. George Police Department Facebook)

(St. George Police Department Facebook)

WASHINGTON CITY, Utah — A woman is in custody and accused of driving under the influence after two brothers from California were hit and killed by a vehicle while participating in a cycling event in southern Utah.

The incident happened in the area of Telegraph Street and Coral Canyon Boulevard around 2 p.m. Saturday.

Court documents say 48-year-old Julie Budge of Hurricane allegedly hit the cyclists while they were in the bike lane and is being investigated for driving under the influence. She was booked into jail under the investigation of two counts of automobile criminal negligence, two count of failure to remain at accident involving death and reckless driving.

Cyclists saw the aftermath of the crash.

“I wish I could forget it, and I’ll never be able to piece a bike no bigger than this shredded carbon fiber handlebars and pedal strewn all over. It was a nightmare,” said Mike Staten, who participated in the ride and got to the scene just after the crash happened.

Mike was with his five sons when they saw the crash at mile 85.

“As I turned the corner, I saw people out in the road — a couple of teenagers in cycling kits were screaming, there were two people on the ground receiving CPR from people who had stopped in their cars — and there were pieces of bike, the biggest pieces were the tires, but everything else was shattered and strewn all over the place,” Staten said.

Seeing there was no way they could help Staten kept going forward with his kids and soon they saw the car that hit the cyclists.

“A car had just pulled over with its radiator gushing all over the ground and the hood and bumper smashed up and two impacts on the windshield. It was totaled because it hit the cyclists from behind so hard their helmets were shattered into pieces around the ground,” Staten said.

Staten is now left wondering about the “what ifs.”

“My youngest said the boy who was screaming was crying out for his dad, and he’s like, ‘That could have been my dad,'” Staten said.

Ride Southern Utah is in charge of the event and say in the more than ten years of organizing the tour they’ve never had anything like this happen. They also say this was not a dangerous section of the course and that no amount of signs would have changed this tragic outcome.

Police have not released the names of the victims. We expect an update sometime Monday.

Police said the cyclists were traveling westbound on Telegraph Street in the bike lane, while a Hyundai Genesis was heading in the same direction at an unknown speed.

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‘I wish I could forget it’: Witness describes responding to two cyclists hit in southern Utah