Driver charged with DUI after allegedly hitting horse during Utah County parade

Nov 29, 2022, 9:44 AM
(Travis Downes)...
(Travis Downes)
(Travis Downes)

SPANISH FORK, Utah — A Payson man accused of driving onto a parade route in Spanish Fork and hitting a man and his horse had a blood-alcohol level more than four times the legal limit, according to prosecutors.

Dionicio Vasquez, 57, was charged Monday in 4th District Court with reckless endangerment and negligently operating a vehicle resulting in injury, class A misdemeanors; DUI, a class B misdemeanor; having an open alcoholic container in his car, a class C misdemeanor; and failing to obey a flagger, an infraction.

Saturday, about 8:30 p.m. near 850 N. Main Street in Spanish Fork, police attempted to pull Vasquez over after he failed to stop at a temporary barricade that was set up for the city’s Festival of Lights parade, according to a police booking affidavit.

EXCLUSIVE: Car crashes through barricades, hits horse and rider during Christmas parade

“Dionicio proceeded through the barricade, ignoring officers’ commands to stop, and sped off. As Dionicio drove southbound, people that were watching the parade had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit by Dionicio’s car,” the affidavit states.

At 300 N. Main Street, Vasquez hit a man riding a horse in the parade. According to one witness, Vasquez was going 30 to 35 mph before hitting his brakes, but by then, it was too late.

“He slid right into the back of the horse,” Steve Adams said. “The rider came off and then fell in front of the car.”

Fortunately, Trent Anderson received minor injuries. His horse, Duncan, was able to finish walking the rest of the parade route.

“The sparks coming off of her feet … I’m grateful that she was able to slide and she’s OK,” Anderson said Sunday. “We’re both sore today.”

Officers who approached Vasquez’s vehicle say they immediately observed that he had “red glossy eyes, dry mouth and slurred speech,” the affidavit states.

Vasquez would not open his door for the officers, forcing police to pull him out of the car and then put him in custody, according to the affidavit.

“On our way to the jail and while at the jail, Dionicio kept shaking his head, sighing, cursing and saying, ‘Very bad,'” the affidavit states.

At the jail, Vasquez claimed he had had about five beers that night, but then also claimed “he had been drinking all night the night before.”

“I asked why he drove past the parade barricade and ignored officers’ commands to stop. Dionicio said that he accelerated past the barricade because he thought he could get away from officers,” officers wrote in their affidavit.

Vasquez’s blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.228%, the affidavit states.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(Andrew Adams/KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace

Two arrested in Glendale shooting

Two men were arrested Thursday for the fatal shooting of a 35-year-old man in the Glendale neighborhood
21 hours ago
A search is underway for Austin Madsen, 32, of Mapleton, Utah. (Mapleton Police Department)...
Shara Park

Search underway in Garfield County for missing father suffering mental health crisis

A desperate search is underway right now in Garfield County for a 32-year-old father from Mapleton, who was last heard from almost a week ago.
21 hours ago
Mike Anderson

Utah is developing a flying motorcycle

We live in a time, where inventions can be built at home and where 3D printers, and machining devices help realize dreams.
21 hours ago
FILE: The Utah State Capitol (Jason Olson, Deseret News Archives)...
Shelby Lofton

Utah lawmakers introduce school safety bills

Lawmakers have unveiled a number of school safety bills after hearing concerns from their constituents.
21 hours ago
Ashley Moser

Utah fifth grader successfully petitions to allow hats at his school

Manila Elementary School's policy allowed students to wear ball caps only on designated days. James Cope, 10, was not fond of that rule, so he started a petition.
21 hours ago
Eliza Pace

Man stabbed to death in SLC

A man was killed in a stabbing Thursday on Main Street in Salt Lake City.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Driver charged with DUI after allegedly hitting horse during Utah County parade