Suspect in fatal hit-and-run trike accident appears in court

ST. GEORGE – A Nevada man accused of leaving the scene of a fatal hit-and-run accident that claimed the life of 57-year-old Steven Jed Canfield in October made his first appearance in 5th District Court Thursday.

Canfield was killed the evening of Oct. 21, 2014, after being struck by a car on Old Highway 91 while a riding a hand-operated tricycle in the area between Kayenta Parkway and W. 400 South. A passing motorist saw Canfield’s body lying on the road and contacted police.

Following news reports about the incident, Mesquite resident Gary Fairse, 33, contacted police and told them he had struck Canfield without realizing it, Santa Clara-Ivins Police Sgt. Chad Holt said. Fairse told police he had no idea at the time that what he had struck on Old Highway 91 was another person.

Fairse was subsequently charged with a third-degree felony for failing to remain at the scene of an accident involving a death by the Washington County Attorney’s Office.

A summons for Fairse to make an initial appearance in court on Jan. 6 was sent out in December but returned unserved, because Fairse was no longer living at the address listed with the court. When Fairse failed to appear, a new summons was issued with a rescheduled appearance for March 5.

Fairse’s next court appearance is scheduled for April 6. Attorneys Aric Cramer and Ariel Taylor will be serving as his counsel.

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