Arrest made in Logan Canyon crash that killed 3, injured 2
Mar 30, 2023, 11:44 AM | Updated: Apr 26, 2023, 2:26 pm
CACHE COUNTY, Utah — A 29-year-old Idaho man has been arrested in connection to Wednesday’s crash on U.S. Highway 89 that left three people dead and injured two others, including a baby.
According to a probable cause statement, Kylan Romrell, of Montpelier, Idaho, was booked into jail on felony charges of driving under the influence and negligently operating a vehicle resulting in death. Romrell was previously convicted of a felony DUI charge and has been arrested for DUI multiple times within the last 10 years, according to court documents.
State troopers responded to the crash, which happened on U.S. 89 at milepost 488, approximately 5 miles south of Bear Lake.
Margaret Cosentino was driving her semi through there as it happened, and said she could see the driver of the other car a Ford Excursion, trying to get the people in the Kia out.
“Went up there…gave them a knife to cut the seatbelt for the car for the mother whose child was in the backseat,” Consentino said.
But Cosentino says there was little they could do.
“It was horrific,” Consentino said.
State Troopers say the driver of the Kia was 21 year-old Jordan Erickson. The front seat passenger was her fiance, 24-year-old Dakota Mejia. Both died in the crash.
In the back seat was Jordan’s sister, 17-year-old Jerika Erickson, who also died. The passenger next to her was her boyfriend, who was flown to an area hospital.
Jordan Erickson’s 2 year-old son was also in the car, and according to family friends is at home with his grandmother.
A GoFundMe for the victims can be found here. *
Investigators said Romrell was driving a Ford Excursion, possibly “near or on the center line of the roadway.” Sgt. Cameron Roden with the Utah Highway Patrol said the preliminary investigation shows a southbound Kia Rio appeared to have drifted over into the northbound lanes, where the vehicles collided.
“However, this crash is still being looked at and fault has not been determined,” investigators said in a probable cause statement. Troopers noted the Kia “was significantly more damaged than the Excursion” but both suffered severe damage.
“The people who saw it said both cars veered, not just one,” Consentino said.
Investigators are saying that’s possible, but they’re still investigating. They do say the driver of the Ford Excursion, Kylan Romrell, had many beer cans unopened and one at least that was open and smashed and multiple bottles which were open.
In the probable cause statement, troopers said they contacted Romrell at the scene of the crash and noted he “had extremely bloodshot eyes, seemed to be staggering, had slurred speech, and the odor of alcohol was emanating from his breath.”
Romrell allegedly told troopers he was driving up the canyon when he looked up and his airbag went off. Troopers said they asked him if he had consumed alcohol, and Romrell said he had not.
According to court documents, troopers found multiple open containers of alcoholic beverages in the Ford and a rifle with a spent cartridge.
Cosentino says she could see the beer cans too.
“Yeah, everybody could. When they hit, you know, they went everywhere – they exploded in there…made a mess,” Consentino said.
Romrell was taken to the Rich County Sheriff’s Office substation in Garden City, where troopers said he was “unsteady, wobbly, and lethargic.” Troopers administered field sobriety tests and allegedly noted several signs of Romrell being under the influence.
According to court documents, a breath test was conducted and Romrell’s blood-alcohol level was .216 — more than four times the legal limit in Utah.
Romrell was then booked into the Cache County Jail on three second-degree felony counts of negligently operating a vehicle resulting in death, a third-degree felony count of negligently operating a vehicle resulting in serious injury, third-degree felony counts of DUI with a prior felony DUI and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, and a misdemeanor count of having an open container/drinking alcohol in a vehicle.
Investigators asked that Romrell be held without bail.
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