St George News

Woman arrested in connection with fatal auto-pedestrian accident

ST. GEORGE – Police arrested a St. George woman in connection with the pedestrian fatality that resulted from a two-vehicle accident on Dixie Drive in early March.

According to a press release from St. George Police, a 50-year-old St. George woman was arrested Friday morning on a count of second degree “automobile homicide involving using a handheld wireless communication device while driving.”

St. George Sgt. Sam Despain said the woman’s arrest is the continuation and conclusion of the investigation into the vehicle accident that occurred on Dixie Drive March 4 that killed one pedestrian and injured another.

On that date, around 9 a.m., David and Leslee Henson, both 56, of St. George, were walking on the sidewalk along Dixie Drive near Sunbrook Drive when the accident occurred. Two vehicles were heading southbound on the road when the lead vehicle was rear-ended by the other, causing  it to veer off the right side of the roadway. That vehicle hit the Hensons when it left the roadway.

David Henson was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center by medical helicopter and was pronounced dead at the hospital.  His wife, Leslee Henson, was transported by ground ambulance in serious condition, and later transferred to a hospital in Salt Lake City for treatment.

The drivers of both vehicles were also transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

The investigation was conducted by the St George Police Department accident reconstruction team and the Washington County Attorney’s office.

According to state code, the 50-year-old woman is being charged with a second-degree felony offense for allegedly being distracted by “wireless devices,” such as a mobile phone, which resulted in her operating “a moving motor vehicle in a criminally negligent manner,” ultimately resulting in the death of a another person.

If convicted, the woman faces up to 15 years in jail. Bail is currently set at $10,000.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, StGeorgeUtah.com Inc., 2013, all rights reserved.

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  9 Comments
  1. sweet jude April 20, 2013 at 1:08 am · Reply

    Isn’t it about time we start holding these asses accountable? Who believes we have a responsibility to take control of ourselves?

  2. Earl April 20, 2013 at 8:52 am · Reply

    Very sad indeed. But cellular phones should never be used while driving. I see the effects everyday, people driving and talking and more focused with a phone conversation than driving a vehicle safely. Sadly it will take more deaths for this concern to be seriously addressed.

  3. Bobbie Jo April 20, 2013 at 6:34 pm · Reply

    Very sad indeed! We were rear ended in Dec 2012 which caused us to hit a pedestrian. The woman who hit us had been using her cell phone prior to the accident… Better yet, she did not have insurance or a valid drivers license. Thanks to her negligence my anxiety goes through the roof when I am driving. People need to get off their phones and pay attention while driving. It will not kill them to ignore their phones. If it is that important, pull off the road and wait to finish before getting back on the road.

  4. Fondue April 20, 2013 at 6:47 pm · Reply

    Is it against the law to talk on a wireless and drive, I know it’s against the law to txt while driving but not sure on talking?

    • Hatałii April 20, 2013 at 8:38 pm · Reply

      Not yet. But they are working on it. There are several possibilities including banning all cellphone use while driving, or allowing hands free use, as is done in several other states.

  5. Dan Lester April 20, 2013 at 8:13 pm · Reply

    Whether it is illegal or not to use your cell phone specifically while driving is irrelevant. It is in many cities and states, but not sure about here. But legal or not it is STUPID. Same as it is STUPID to try to eat a Whopper and a milkshake while driving. Or pick up something off the floor. Or stare at the accident you’re driving past. Or lots of other things that are “distracted driving”, which is illegal.

  6. sweet jude April 20, 2013 at 8:34 pm · Reply

    I believe strongly in the principles of justice and mercy, but when the laws are totally ignored or deliberately mocked, then justice has its due. There is denial or minimizing likely to take place afterwards, however when the law has been broken, there is no room for excuses to be made. A common phrase we hear is someone made me do it. I hear it all the time. The fact still remains. With no taking responsibility, no effort being made to rectify our mistakes or to take control of our lives always leads to the full weight of justice that will need to be paid. People need to understand that or they must learn the hard way.

  7. JVSteve April 21, 2013 at 4:47 pm · Reply

    This is one of the first prosecutions under a new statute…I hope it is successful! Little old St. George made the national news when these charges were filed, maybe more states will follow suit. Just hope it doesn’t get plea bargained down to in attentive driving.

  8. lcambridge April 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm · Reply

    what about cops on the laptop and phone and radio.. is there no problem with them using the cpu..i dont get how they get the right to do so… but yet the general public have to say no….i get the need but it should be a law for all not just public….

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