Driver facing automobile homicide charge following fatal crash held without bail following 2 new DUI cases

ST. GEORGE — The driver who was charged with DUI following a fatal crash that claimed the life of a Riverton woman in 2019 is back in jail on a no-bail warrant after two DUI cases were filed following unrelated incidents reported after the crash.

2019 file photo of a multi-car crash at the intersection of SR-9 and 6300 West that left one person dead and a man charged, Hurricane, Utah, Oct. 11, 2019 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

During a status hearing held Thursday in 5th District Court, 38-year-old Christopher Weaver was ordered to turn himself into Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility where he is being held without bail.

The order was signed on a case in which Weaver is facing a second-degree felony automobile homicide charge filed in 2019 following a fatal crash reported on the intersection of state Route 9 and 6300 West in Hurricane on Oct. 11, 2019. 

At the time of the incident, Weaver was heading to work and was traveling over 70 mph in a 60 mph zone when he came upon the stopped traffic.

He began to brake, but he was too late and hit the back of a Mazda 3 hatchback at nearly 60 mph, severely injuring the Mazda driver, 20-year-old Kylie B. Park, of Riverton, who was transported to the hospital in critical condition and later died from her injuries.

A report from the Office of the Medical Examiner concluded that Park died from “multiple blunt force injuries as a result of the traffic accident,” as stated in the charging documents.

A crash study was conducted following the incident that confirmed there was excessive wear to the brakes on defendant’s truck, as Weaver stated to police shortly after the crash, but also revealed Weaver applied the brakes just prior to striking the Mazda at more than 57 mph.

A blood draw that was performed three hours after the crash tested positive for oxycodone, which the defendant had a prescription for, but through the course of the investigation, detectives spoke to Weaver’s estranged wife, who said the defendant had an addiction to prescription medication and had planned on attending substance abuse counseling.

Weaver was not arrested at the time of the crash pending further investigation, which took nearly a year, and in August he was charged with automobile homicide, along with an infraction for speeding. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was waiting for a trial date to become available on the case.

The no-bail warrant for Weaver’s arrest was signed during Thursday’s hearing. A request that would modify Weaver’s pretrial status was submitted by Washington County Prosecutor Zachary Weiland, who requested that Weaver be held without bail until his case is resolved. Prior to the hearing, Weaver had remained out of custody while awaiting trial.

Weiland cited several new cases that have been filed against the defendant since the October 2019 fatal crash as the reason for the request, including two new DUI cases.

The first one involved a traffic stop on Jan. 18, 2020, three months after the crash, when a Utah Highway Patrol trooper stopped the defendant in Iron County, Weiland wrote. Following the stop, Weaver was arrested for suspicion of DUI, unsafe lane travel and for allegedly having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.

The defendant was out on pretrial release when the new case was filed, according to charging documents file with the courts.

In September, the suspect was stopped and cited for reckless driving in St. George, the prosecutor noted, and he went on to cite a stop that took place two month later in Washington City, where Weaver was cited for driving on a suspended license, a charge he pleaded guilty to that was being held in abeyance.

Weiland also cited the most recent arrest in Iron County following a traffic stop on April 30, 2021 for suspected DUI on Interstate 15. An off-duty officer in Cedar City noticed a vehicle heading north and weaving in and out of the lane, nearly striking the concrete barrier multiple times, according to charging documents filed with the Cedar City Justice Court in April.

A stock image of a Cedar City Police vehicle as the new budget approves the hiring of three new officers, Cedar City, Utah, June 3, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

When the car was stopped, officers spoke to the driver, identified as Weaver, who was traveling with his 12-year-old son.

After allegedly failing the field sobriety test, a breathalyzer was administered which came back showing a breath-alcohol level of .027, according to the report. Weaver was later charged with DUI with a minor in the vehicle and also for being an alcohol-restricted driver. The charges were filed the following month and a $25,000 warrant was issued for the defendant’s arrest on May 21.

Court records also reveal that in Iron County, prosecutors also listed the the previous cases filed against the defendant, including the 2019 crash. Court records also revealed that Weaver appeared for a hearing to change his pretrial custody status in Iron County as well, but the modification was held pending review by Weaver’s defense attorney.

Weaver is being held in Washington County on the order signed by District Judge Keith C. Barnes and, pending no further modifications, he will remain in custody without bail until his trial.

Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained. 

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders 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.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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