Driver in fatal Mother’s Day car crash pleads guilty to felony charges

Feb 28, 2024, 1:58 PM

Fatal crash scene...

Emergency responders in Layton on May 14, 2023, after one person was killed and five others were injured in an accident. A Syracuse woman has pleaded guilty to felony charges. (Jeffrey Dahdah, KSL TV)

(Jeffrey Dahdah, KSL TV)

FARMINGTON — A woman has pleaded guilty to causing a head-on collision that killed one woman and injured five others, including her own 2-year-old daughter, on Mother’s Day last year.

Nicolette Tovey, 31, of Syracuse, was responding to a text message on May 14, 2023, while driving her Honda Pilot east near 2225 W. Gordon Ave., according to court documents, when a witness saw Tovey’s car swerving in the lane for about 50 feet, before striking a Toyota Corolla head-on.

Layton Police Lt. Travis Lyman said there were five people in the Corolla, including Ruth Carillos, 53, who was pronounced dead as responders extracted her from the car. The other four passengers were taken to the hospital, according to the plea statement, with serious injuries including a collapsed lung, broken bones, ruptured spleen, internal bleeding, and more.

Tovey’s 2-year-old daughter, who was riding in a car seat in the back of her car, was also hospitalized after the crash.

Police obtained a search warrant for a blood draw, and found methamphetamine in Tovey’s system and syringes in her car, according to the plea documents.

As part of a Feb. 23 plea agreement, Tovey pleaded guilty to one count of negligently operating a vehicle resulting in death, a second-degree felony; four counts of negligently operating a vehicle resulting in serious bodily injury, a third-degree felony; and one count of attempted possession or use of a controlled substance, a class B misdemeanor. She also agreed to pay restitution to all the victims, “for the entire amount of pecuniary damages proximately caused to each,” according to court documents.

As part of the same agreement, Tovey pleaded guilty to obstructing justice, a class A misdemeanor, after attempting to smuggle a vape and various unidentified pills into the Davis County Jail on Dec. 22, 2023, while being booked for the crash.

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Driver in fatal Mother’s Day car crash pleads guilty to felony charges