Driver booked for manslaughter in crash that killed two in Utah County

Jun 7, 2023, 3:51 PM | Updated: 5:00 pm

demolished car carrying two people who were killed...

Two people are dead after a road-rage caused collision on a Utah County roadway on June 4, 2023.(KSL TV)


EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah — The man who was involved in a crash that killed two people in Utah County has now been booked on felony manslaughter charges.

Police named Peterson Drew Matheson, 30, of Eagle Mountain, as the person who was driving a Ford 150 that hit a Porsche head on Sunday, killing its occupants, Rodney Michal Salm, 48, from Salt Lake City and Michaela Himmleberger, 47, of Holiday.

“Matheson turned himself in & was booked on two 2nd degree felony counts of manslaughter & class B reckless driving,” Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet.

How police say the fatal crash happened

In an affidavit of probable cause, investigators explain what witnesses and cameras reported to police. The document states Matheson, in the truck, was trying to pass the Nissan Maxima on the right shoulder of state Route 73.

An eastbound driver of the car in front of the Ford and Nissan told police he and his wife were concerned about how close the two vehicles were to his own, estimating speeds of approximately 65 to 70 mph.

Documents state Matheson’s truck moved left from the right shoulder, hitting the Maxima. The driver of that car slowed down after the collision and the Ford spun to the left, in front of the Maxima, and into the oncoming lane, colliding with the Porsche.

Road looking east

Utah state Route 73 with a merge lane from Eagle Mountain Boulevard, looking east. (Google Earth Pro)

Deputies found paint transfer and a large amount of black tire marks on the passenger side of the Maxima and driver side of the Ford, consistent with the Maxima driver’s statement,” the affidavit states.

The document says a westbound motorist with a dash cam, that was ahead of the Porsche, recorded Matheson’s truck passing the Maxima on the shoulder. That person supplied the video to deputies.

How things may have started

The driver of the Nissan, who has not been named, told investigators the confrontation started when he passed the truck on Eagle Mountain Boulevard while both vehicles were heading north.

“The section of the roadway has two northbound lanes to allow vehicles to legally pass,” the probable cause statement reads. “The Maxima driver stated both continued north on Eagle Mountain Boulevard until the vehicles
arrived at the intersection of SR-73.”

Both vehicles turned east with the Maxima in front of the Ford. A witness told investigators that after making the turn to Route 73, the Maxima turned into the merge lane and the Ford turned into the regular travel lane, attempting to pass the Maxima.

“The witness stated the Maxima sped up not allowing the Ford to pass as it appeared he intended,” the affidavit states. With a short merge lane, that then becomes a single lane in each direction, the Maxima merged into the travel lane. The Ford then went to the shoulder in what appeared to be an attempt to pass on the right.

“The Maxima driver confirmed the Ford was on the right shoulder of the roadway, attempting to pass him after the Ford had tailgated the Maxima,” the document reads.

“It does appear the driver of the pickup was the primary aggressor in this case. The driver of the car, the Nissan, though, was involved,” Cannon said on Sunday.

PC documents say Matheson “operated his vehicle in a willful disregard for the safety of others.” It also states:

Matheson’s maneuver to pass the Nissan Maxima on the shoulder and then collide with Nissan Maxima created a substantial and unjustifiable risk that a vehicle collision would occur as were the speeds he was traveling outside of the travel lane and beyond the fog line.

Matheson turned himself in at the Utah County Jail in Spanish Fork Wednesday. Deputies had spoken with his family to state they planned to take him into custody.

Matheson was taken to a hospital after the crash Sunday and when deputies attempted to interview him there, a person  identified himself as Matheson’s attorney and said he declined to speak with detectives.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Excessive heat over the weekend caused road damage on Interstate 15, leading to multiple vehicles b...

Kiersten Nunez

Heat causes Interstate 15 buckling, damages multiple vehicles in Davis County

Excessive heat over the weekend caused road damage on Interstate 15, leading to multiple vehicles being damaged due to buckling pavement and large chunks of concrete.

11 minutes ago

An apartment went up in flames in West Valley City on July 14, 2024. (Scott Winterton, Deseret News...

Mark Jones

West Valley City apartment fire displaces 30 people; no injuries reported

A large fire has displaced 30 people following a West Valley City apartment fire on Sunday, according to the West Valley City Fire Department.

1 hour ago

Boyd Matheson follows the latest details after an attempted assassination was made on former Presid...


Sunday Edition: The attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump

Boyd Matheson sits down for a special episode of Sunday Edition following the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump.

4 hours ago

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall joins Sunday Edition to discuss the International Olympic Comm...


Sunday Edition: Mayor Erin Mendenhall

On the originally scheduled Sunday Edition, SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall joins the show to discuss the 2034 Olympics and downtown revitalization plans.

7 hours ago

On Saturday, the St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church formally opened its doors as the newest dedicated s...

Brittany Tait

Utah’s newest Greek Orthodox Church ready to welcome worshippers

On Saturday, the St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church formally opened its doors as the newest dedicated sacred space in the valley.  

20 hours ago

Crews in the Ashley National Forest are working to contain a fire on the Flaming Gorge Ranger Distr...

Mark Jones

The Speirs Fire is growing in size near Flaming Gorge

Crews in the Ashley National Forest are working to contain a fire on the Flaming Gorge Ranger District, south of Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Driver booked for manslaughter in crash that killed two in Utah County