Toddler seriously injured, motorcycle rider arrested following alleged hit-and-run crash

Stock image | Photo by MattGush/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Police arrested a man over the weekend who is suspected of hitting a toddler with his motorcycle on a residential street in St. George, leaving the child seriously injured.

On Saturday night at approximately 6:15 p.m., officers were dispatched to a scene involving a toddler who was struck by a motorcycle driven by a rider who allegedly failed to stop following the incident.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed in support of the arrest, after officers arrived, the injured infant was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center with serious injuries. St. George Police Officer Tiffany Atkin told St. George News the child was a 22-month-old girl. Officers later learned from medical staff that the toddler had suffered bruising to her brain and a laceration to her liver when the bike ran over her. (See Ed. note)

At the time of the incident, witnesses on the scene reported seeing a motorcycle strike the toddler before driving away from the area. They described the rider as a man dressed in black with a handlebar mustache.

Officers learned that immediately after the collision, several witnesses yelled at the rider to stop, but he continued riding away from the scene.

During a search of the area, officers located an unoccupied motorcycle near the scene of the hit and run that matched the one described by the witnesses, and upon further inspection, they noticed there was damage to the front of the bike. A records check revealed it was owned by 62-year-old Gregory McClary, who lived nearby.

Gregory James McClary, 62, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Dec. 5, 2020 } Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The report states that when officers responded to the address listed on the registration, McClary confirmed he was the owner of the motorcycle and that he had been operating it “before it tipped over and would not start.”

The suspect told officers that he had just left a residence near the area where the crash took place. He also said he could hear people yelling at him as he rode off but said he didn’t know why. While speaking with the suspect, officers noticed he had slurred speech and poor balance, and they also detected the odor of alcohol.

According to police, McClary admitted he was drinking before he left the residence to return home on his motorcycle, and when officers attempted to administer a field sobriety test, he struggled through a majority of the exercises, telling officers he had injured his ankle and wrist when his motorcycle tipped over earlier.

The report states that the officer found sufficient evidence to indicate that McClary was under the influence of alcohol, which rendered him impaired, and that he was the rider who struck the child with his motorcycle and then left the area without reporting the incident to police.

The suspect was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility facing two third-degree felonies, including DUI with serious bodily injury by negligent operation and failing to remain at the scene of an accident involving serious injury.

McClary was on parole at the time of his arrest after serving more than a year in Utah State Prison for aggravated burglary and two counts of aggravated assault. He was sentenced to prison in February 2017 and released October 2018. Following Saturday’s arrest, the suspect was also placed on a hold by the Bureau of Prisons.

Being that the current offense is a felony that was committed while the suspect was probation or parole, the officer requested that McClary be held without bail, a request that was approved by District Judge Eric A. Ludlow the following morning.

He remains in custody without bail, and Atkin said the child is still in the hospital as of publication of this report.

Ed. note: An earlier version of this article referred to the child as a “1-year-old.” This article has been update for clarity of her exact age.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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