LOCAL NEWS

Witness in the first of a series of hit-and-run incidents speaks out

Mar 30, 2024, 5:32 PM | Updated: Apr 4, 2024, 7:18 am

SALT LAKE CITY New details are shedding light on the first known incident linked to accused serial hit-and-run driver Anh Duy Pham.

The incident happened on the corner of 1000 West and 500 South on Aug. 22, 2023.

“I saw it all, she was running as fast as she could,” Cristi Demarco said.

Demarco said it was around 3 p.m. when she and her wife Amanda Stearns pulled into their driveway from a trip to the grocery store. Outside their window, they saw the woman running across the street.

“This girl was running across the street, and he was chasing after her, and I’m like he’s going to get her, he’s going to hit her and he did. He hit her, she flew up in the air,” Demarco said.

Demarco described the vehicle as a white car.

Cristi Demarco spoke to KSL TV about a hit-and-run incident that she witnessed in August 2023. The incident was the first of a series of hit-and-incidents that police say are connected. (KSL TV)

“It was on purpose,” Demarco said.  “He even kind of like maneuvered and made sure he hit her right in the middle of his car.”

Demarco got out of her car and ran to help the woman.

“I went and picked her up, I tried to get her off the ground to make sure she was OK which I knew she wasn’t and she just ran into her house,” she said.

She said the victim was so terrified and upset that Demarco called 911. The victim initially refused first aid.

“He wanted her back in his car, that’s what she told me. He wanted her to get back in the car and she wouldn’t so he ran her over,” Demarco said.

The license plate

Demarco said Stearns got the suspect’s license plate and followed after him as she called 911.

According to court documents, the license plate is registered in Utah under U385WV.

But even with the information, Salt Lake City police said there wasn’t enough to refer the case to the prosecutor’s office until this month.

“Our detectives did close out the case pending additional follow-up. As they were investigating this case, they needed additional evidence and they needed to conduct additional investigation,” said Brent Weisberg, communications director for the Salt Lake City Police Department.

According to Weisberg, the case was initially investigated as an aggravated assault.

Anh Pham, 26, is facing several attempted murder charges for a series of hit-and-runs prosecutors say targeted women. (KSL TV)

“And then it wasn’t until March 2024 when we really had a break in this case that allowed our detectives, not only from our robbery and violent crimes squad to investigate the August 2023 case but also several other cases involving this individual who is accused of hitting several women intentionally,” Weisberg said.

Police arrested 26-year-old Anh Duy Pham. The license plate information was allegedly a perfect match for his car.

The charges

Pham is charged with attempted murder in four hit-and-runs involving six women victims. In the August 2023 incident, he was charged with 1 count of attempted murder and failure to stop at a serious injury accident. The other incidents and charges are as follows:

KSL TV has also confirmed two additional hit-and-run cases with similar characteristics are being investigated for a possible link to Pham. The cases involve incidents on March 2 and March 12 in Salt Lake City, with one woman hit in each attack.

Watching the doorbell video from the March 12 incident, Demarco said was like déjà vu. Until now, she had no idea there were several attacks just like the one she witnessed.

“That is the same exact car that hit her, the same exact to the T, that’s the car,” Demarco said.

To testify in court

According to Demarco, detectives had only questioned them about the incident they witnessed in August. They recently asked Demarco and Stearns if they would be willing to testify in court.

“We both said yes,” she said.

“The person who was hit in this August case has indicated that she now wants to move forward with the criminal prosecution and we believe that that’s absolutely the right decision,” Weisberg said.

Pham was arrested on March 13 after officers located him in a white Toyota Avalon at Liberty Park, according to court documents.

“There are cases that are publicly known and there are cases that are not publicly known that we are investigating against this defendant. I’m not going to be able to speak to the specificity of it because this is an ongoing investigation,” Weisberg said.

One difference in the August case is that the victim may have known Pham, while the other victims appear to be random targets.

If you believe you were targeted by Pham and would like to share your experience, please contact news@ksl.com.

KSL 5 TV Live

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Witness in the first of a series of hit-and-run incidents speaks out