Drunken Utah man was speeding with grandson in car when he caused fatal crash, charges say

Apr 26, 2023, 11:25 AM

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(FILE photo)

WEST JORDAN, Utah — A 72-year-old West Jordan man is facing criminal charges accusing him of causing a high-speed crash that killed another driver, all while driving intoxicated and with his grandson in the vehicle.

Assail Paul Lyman was charged Wednesday in 3rd District Court with negligently operating a vehicle resulting in death, a second-degree felony; DUI, a class A misdemeanor; reckless driving, a class B misdemeanor; and three infractions including failing to stay in his lane, speeding and running a red light.

On Dec. 1, Lyman was driving a 2018 Ram pickup truck when police say he exited the Bangerter Highway at 9000 South at a high rate of speed.

Lyman went down the off-ramp at 98 mph — 34 mph over the speed limit — sideswiped the concrete barrier twice, “then continues down the ramp at full throttle, showing no sign of attempting to brake, where he runs the red light, travels through eastbound lanes, misses a vehicle in the No. 2 lane before striking (the victim) in the No. 2 lane at 89 mph,” according to charging documents.

Police found a 2016 Chevy pickup “lying on its side that had been pushed through a chain-link fence and a shed” after being knocked over three lanes of traffic, the charges state. Claude Thacker, 75, of Murray, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lyman told police he had just picked up his grandson — who was under the age of 16 — from school and they were headed home. The grandson was treated at a local hospital for injuries.

Family members told detectives that Lyman “has a history of drinking and tends to drink more than he should,” but doubted he would drink knowing he had to pick up his grandson, according to the charges. Police were told that Lyman had consumed alcohol the night before, but allegedly had nothing the day of the crash.

Lyman’s blood-alcohol content at the time of the crash, however, was measured at 0.12%, or more than twice the legal limit, court records state.

A no-bail warrant was issued Wednesday for Lyman’s arrest.

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Drunken Utah man was speeding with grandson in car when he caused fatal crash, charges say