Cedar City man arrested in connection with double-fatality on highway

ST. GEORGE – A Cedar City man was arrested in connection with the crash on Interstate 15 that claimed two lives Saturday.

Dyllon Marc Mercado, of Ceder City, booking photo, Sept. 10, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff's Office, St. George News
Dyllon Marc Mercado, of Cedar City, booking photo, Sept. 10, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Dyllon Marc Mercado, 23, of Cedar City, was the driver of a Pontiac Grand Prix that struck the back of a slow-moving semitractor-trailer on northbound I-15 shortly before 4 a.m. Saturday.

According to a statement from the Utah Highway Patrol, the driver of the Grand Prix, later identified as Mercado, attempted to avoid the back of the trailer by swerving to the left, but it was too late.

“The Grand Prix struck the left side of the trailer and its steel rear bumper with the passenger side of the Grand Prix,” the report reads. “The impact from the trailer tore through the Grand Prix, killing the male front passenger and right rear passenger on impact.”

The two passengers killed in the crash were identified as Nigel J Chavez, 25, and Matthew Chavez, 26, both of Cedar City. Mercado was unharmed.

The semi and the Grand Prix continued traveling north after the impact for another mile before stopping on the right shoulder near milepost 35.5. Police were contacted by both drivers once they stopped.

Two Cedar City men were killed on northbound I-15 near milepost 34 when the car they were in collided with a semitruck trailer. The driver, who was unharmed, was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol, Washington County, Utah, Sept. 10, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News
Two Cedar City men were killed on northbound I-15 near milepost 34 when the car they were in collided with a semitractor-trailer. The driver of the car, who was unharmed, was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol, Washington County, Utah, Sept. 10, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

An investigation by the UHP alleges alcohol was a factor in the crash and that Mercado was driving under the influence, according to the UHP statement and a probable cause statement sworn in support of the arrest.

A UHP trooper called to the scene was told by Washington County Sheriff’s deputies that Mercado smelled of alcohol and that he had admitted to drinking.

“I approached the driver of the vehicle and spoke to him.” the UHP trooper wrote in the statement. “I asked him if he had been drinking and he stated he had. I asked him how much alcohol he had consumed. He stated enough.”

The trooper put Mercado through some field sobriety tests which he ended up failing, according to the statement.

Mercado was subsequently arrested and informed of his rights. A breath test taken during a visit to the St. George Police Annex produced a blood-alcohol content over the legal limit.

Mercado was booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility on two counts of third-degree felony automobile homicide and a misdemeanor for DUI. He has since posted bail.

Two Cedar City men were killed on northbound I-15 near milepost 34 when the car they were in collided with a semitruck trailer. The driver, who was unharmed, was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol, Washington County, Utah, Sept. 10, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News
Two Cedar City men were killed on northbound I-15 near milepost 34 when the car they were in collided with a semitractor-trailer. The driver of the car, who was unharmed, was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol, Washington County, Utah, Sept. 10, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement and court documents and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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7 Comments

  • 42214 September 12, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Enjoy your stay in prison Mr Mercado. You killed two people because of your criminal act of DUI. Let’s hear from all the bleeding hearts about how sad and tragic this is and poor Mr Mercado has to live with this for the rest of his life.

    • .... September 13, 2016 at 6:34 am

      This is sad and tragic and poor Mr Mercado has to live with this for the rest of his life ! Oh never mind I’m not a bleeding heart I hope he rots in prison and never gets out !

    • RealMcCoy September 13, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      Well, if he was drunk then he wasn’t in his right mind. Hurricane precedent shows that that is a good enough reason to walk away with no charges (at least for murder).
      Just #fundraiser this poor guy and let him go.
      After all this stress, I’m sure he needs a drink.

      • ladybugavenger September 14, 2016 at 5:26 pm

        The poor guy has suffered enough #fundraiser

  • thegreatone September 13, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Hey Mori. How do you misspell CEDAR / CEDER city in your own article?

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic September 13, 2016 at 11:13 am

      TGO – it happens, and that’ll be on me as I gave final edit. Sometimes our eyes see what our brain expects to see. Corrections have been made and I very much appreciate your helping us out! 🙂

      ST. GEORGE NEWS
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

  • thegreatone September 13, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks Joyce. Refreshing to receive an acknowledgement. Love your newspaper.

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