ACCIDENTS & INJURIES

Driver used cocaine prior to hitting, killing St. George pedestrian, charges say

Nov 6, 2023, 4:44 PM | Updated: 4:45 pm

Police investigate after a woman was hit by a vehicle and killed near 500 North and Bluff Street on...

Police investigate after a woman was hit by a vehicle and killed near 500 North and Bluff Street on Wednesday night. The woman's brother was hit and killed at the same intersection two days later, and the driver who allegedly hit him was charged Monday with using cocaine just before the crash. ( Marc Weaver, KSL TV)

( Marc Weaver, KSL TV)

ST. GEORGE — Criminal charges were filed Monday against a Washington County woman accused of using cocaine before getting in her car and then hitting and killing a pedestrian.

The pedestrian died in the same area where his sister was been hit and killed just two days before.

Brianna Leigh Waters, 28, of Washington, is charged in 5th District Court with negligently operating a vehicle resulting in death, a second-degree felony; drug possession, a third-degree felony; DUI, a class A misdemeanor; possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor; plus infractions of running a red light and failing to yield to a pedestrian.

On Friday, Matthew Jones, 36, was hit by a pickup truck that ran a red light at 500 N. Bluff Street in St. George, according to police.

“Witnesses on the scene said the light was clearly red, and there were two cars stopped in the other lanes at the light as she approached it. Witness accounts state Brianna didn’t hit her brakes before colliding with the pedestrian in the crosswalk, and initial investigations show no signs of breaking before the collision,” a police booking affidavit states.

Jones died as a result of his injuries. His death came just two days after his sister, Mardelle Parkin, 37, was hit and killed at the same intersection by another vehicle while she was also crossing the road. A GoFundMe* campaign has been launched to help the family raise money for funeral expenses.

Mardelle Parkin was hit and killed on Bluff Street in St. George last week. Two days later, her brother, Matthew Jones, was hit and killed at the same spot. (Photo: GoFundMe)

Mardelle Parkin was hit and killed on Bluff Street in St. George last week. Two days later, her brother, Matthew Jones, was hit and killed at the same spot. (Photo: GoFundMe)

As police spoke to Waters, officers noted that “she displayed indicators commonly associated with drug use,” the affidavit states. “As Brianna stood in front of us, we observed her hands to be fidgety. She had visible eyelids and body tremors, and she appeared very nervous. Brianna had glossy and bloodshot eyes, and her pupils appeared to be dilated.”

After being questioned several times about possible drug use, “Brianna admitted to using cocaine just before leaving the house and about 30 minutes before the accident,” the affidavit states.

“She was asked if she thought about that before choosing to drive and if she thought it might be a bad idea. She admitted she thought to herself before driving that it may be a bad idea since she just used cocaine, but felt it was a short distance and would be OK. Specifically, she said she didn’t think cops would detect it because she didn’t have alcohol on her breath,” police noted in the affidavit.

According to court records, Waters was also convicted of impaired driving in 2020.


*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Driver used cocaine prior to hitting, killing St. George pedestrian, charges say