Cement truck driver charged with manslaughter in death of sheriff’s deputy

Mar 24, 2023, 4:36 PM

Salt Lake County sheriff's deputy Joel Baker, 33, died Nov. 12 when a cement truck heading south on...

Salt Lake County sheriff's deputy Joel Baker, 33, died Nov. 12 when a cement truck heading south on Redwood Road hit his eastbound car on Mountain View Corridor. The cement truck driver, who police say ran two red lights before hitting Baker's car, was arrested Wednesday for investigation of manslaughter. (Utah Department of Transportation)

(Utah Department of Transportation)

LEHI, Utah — The man who police say intentionally ran two red lights while driving a cement truck and then crashed into another vehicle, killing a Salt Lake County sheriff’s deputy on his way to work, has been charged.

Jonas Hyrum Faamausili, 26, of West Jordan, was charged Friday in 4th District Court with manslaughter, a second-degree felony.

The charge comes four months after 33-year-old Joel Baker was hit and killed, and three months after Faamausili was originally arrested.

On Nov. 12, about 4:40 a.m., Faamausili was driving a cement truck on Redwood Road when at the Mountain View Corridor he “deliberately ran through two red lights, failing to try to brake or stop for either,” according to a police booking affidavit. “On review of the dash camera that was in his vehicle, he was traveling slightly above the speed limit and doesn’t try to brake for either red light.”

According to charging documents, Faamausili was driving 59 mph when he approached the first traffic signal, which turned red about three seconds before he ran through it.

“The second set had been red for approximately six seconds when the defendant ran that red light. The defendant was driving at 55 mph when he drove into the Mazda,” the charges state.

Baker, who was driving the Mazda, died at the scene.

An inspection conducted on the large truck “revealed that 20% of his brakes were inoperable. The inoperable brakes were the right and left sides of axle 2, and the right and left sides of axle 3,” according to the charges.

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Cement truck driver charged with manslaughter in death of sheriff’s deputy