Father ‘infuriated’ by DA office’s decision in deadly crosswalk auto-pedestrian collision

May 11, 2022, 9:25 AM | Updated: Jun 22, 2022, 2:24 pm

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — A father said Tuesday it was “infuriating” to learn of the Salt Lake County District Attorney Office’s decision to not pursue felony or serious misdemeanor charges against a driver in an auto-pedestrian crash that left one boy dead and another with lasting injuries.

On October 30, 2021, 13-year-old Karl Finch and his friend, then-12-year-old Spencer Wall, were crossing 2700 West in a crosswalk at Matterhorn Drive (6380 South) when they were hit.

Boy dies after being hit by car while trick-or-treating in Taylorsville

Taylorsville police passed their case to prosecutors at the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, but the office declined to pursue felony or serious charges against the 29-year-old driver.

Instead, Taylorsville City prosecutors filed multiple class B misdemeanor charges against the man on April 25, including driving with a measurable controlled substance in the body, driving on a revoked or suspended license and possession or use of a controlled substance. He also was handed three infractions of failure to yield to pedestrians when a traffic signal is not operating.

The charging documents stated that the man was found to have 10 anabolic steroid pills in his pocket along with marijuana and was driving on a suspended license at the time of the collision. A blood test, according to the charges, found that he had amounts of Benzoylecgonine, THC and THC metabolite in his system.

“It all seems like it’s a no-brainer, right — it also seems like a no-brainer that his actions caused Karl’s death,” said Keven Wall, Spencer’s father. “When we found out a week ago, week-and-a-half ago that the county declined all charges and that the city was going to (do) what amounted to a slap on the wrists, it was pretty infuriating.”

A spokesman for the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office said due to the ongoing prosecution at the justice court level, he could not speak about the decision reached by the DA’s office.

“As much so as when we were in our room and got the call that our son had broken his arm and was hit by a car, it’s that big of a gut punch where you feel like you’re going through the thing all over again,” Wall said of the DA’s decision.

Wall said there should at least be more serious consequences in cases where someone is driving on a suspended license and causes a death.

“If that’s not worthy of spending some time in jail, then what is?” questioned Wall.

Wall said his son was still dealing with lingering effects including pain from the collision more than six months later, but was maintaining a positive attitude as he continued on his long road to recovery.

“The neurosurgeon afterward said that he hadn’t removed a blood clot that big off of somebody’s brain in his entire career,” Wall said.

Wall said he has also found himself advocating for safer roads. In a recent Facebook post he shared publicly, he advocated for better lighting along streets and flashing lights at crosswalks.

“Our lives really were forever changed that night,” Wall said. “We’d just love to see that never happen again.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

man holds gun...

Shelby Lofton

Expert breaks down how far someone can legally go to protect their Utah property

A tense interaction between a snowboarder and a Brighton man has started conversation on Utah's trespassing laws, and now an expert is weighing in.

11 hours ago

New homes during construction. (Ray Boone, KSL News)...

Daniel Woodruff

Battle brewing between Utah builders, cities over home inspections

SB185, which passed the Senate this week and awaits a vote in the House of Representatives, could allow builders to pick their own inspectors.

11 hours ago

The stage of the Tabernacle Choir as they perform in Manila. (Dan Rascon, KSL News)...

Dan Rascon

Tabernacle Choir performs unforgettable concert in Manila

It was a night not to be forgotten in the Philippines as the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performed  its first major concert before thousands of Filipinos at the Mall of Asia’s 9,000 set arena.

12 hours ago

Police are asking for help in locating the driver in a hit-and-run that sent a Sandy mother and her...

Shara Park

Sandy police seeking help in locating vehicle involved in a hit-and-run

Police are asking for help in locating the driver in a hit-and-run that sent a Sandy mother and her teenage daughter to the hospital.

13 hours ago

Keith Sorenson opens a tool shed to display the tools of the trade. (Stuart Johnson, KSL News)...

Alex Cabrero

Taylorsville heritage center reclaims stolen historic anvils

A pair of historically-significant anvils were finally returned to Taylorsville after being stolen two years ago.

13 hours ago

Herriman police are seeking the public's assistance in locating 76-year-old Joe Vakuata. (Herriman ...

Mark Jones

UPDATE: Herriman police find missing 76-year-old man safe

Herriman police are seeking the public's assistance in locating a missing 76-year-old man.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

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.

Father ‘infuriated’ by DA office’s decision in deadly crosswalk auto-pedestrian collision