LOCAL NEWS

2 killed, 2 injured in crash near Utah-Arizona border; impaired driving suspected

Mar 26, 2024, 5:24 PM

Two people died Monday night in a head-on crash near the Utah-Arizona border. The driver of one of ...

Two people died Monday night in a head-on crash near the Utah-Arizona border. The driver of one of those vehicles is now facing felony charges. (Utah Highway Patrol)

(Utah Highway Patrol)

MEXICAN HAT, San Juan County — Two people were killed and two others injured in a head-on crash in southwest Utah on Monday.

Just before 8:30 p.m., a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado that was northbound on state Route 163 near the Arizona border crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a southbound 2010 Ford Ranger, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.

“The Ranger spun off the roadway and rolled onto its passenger side. Two occupants of the Ranger succumbed to injuries and died at the scene,” the UHP stated.

On Tuesday, 33-year-old Daniel William Walker — the driver of the Silverado — was charged in 7th District Court with two counts of negligently operating a vehicle resulting in death, a second-degree felony; two counts of negligently operating vehicle resulting in injury, a third-degree felony; and DUI, a class B misdemeanor.

A 45-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man were killed. Their names have not been released.

Two people died Monday night in a head-on crash near the Utah-Arizona border. The driver of one of those vehicles is now facing felony charges. (Utah Highway Patrol)

The investigation

Walker sustained minor injuries and was treated at a nearby Arizona hospital and later released.

“Troopers conducted a DUI investigation and arrested the Silverado driver for impaired driving. He was later booked into the San Juan County Jail,” the UHP stated. “The Navajo Reservation requested an outside agency to investigate this incident. The Utah Highway Patrol, in conjunction with the FBI, is conducting this investigation.”

S.R. 163 was closed for about an hour during the investigation. A police booking affidavit further states that the drivers of both vehicles were believed to be impaired.

Walker allegedly told investigators that he was headed from Arizona to Hanksville and was driving on only an hour of sleep after working a long shift before he fell asleep at the wheel, the affidavit states.

“I advised Walker I could smell alcohol and asked how much he had to drink. Walker advised he didn’t think that mattered. I asked Walker if he would give a portable breath test and he stated he didn’t think that was necessary,” according to the affidavit.

After being released from the hospital, Walker was picked up by troopers and taken to the San Juan County Jail.

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2 killed, 2 injured in crash near Utah-Arizona border; impaired driving suspected