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Fatal DUI: Driver will stand trial in Utah

As a follow-up to a story first reported here on Sept. 4 ("Utah woman run down in DUI car accident"), the driver believed to be responsible for a Utah woman's death will stand trial. Reports indicate that prosecutors provided enough evidence at a preliminary hearing on Nov. 26 to convince a judge to order the man to stand trial in connection with this tragic DUI death. His next court appearance is currently scheduled for Dec. 19.

According to reports, the man allegedly drove up onto a sidewalk where a woman who was sitting and smoking a cigarette. The vehicle struck and dragged for some distance. It slammed through a fence and a building before coming to a stop.

The victim's widower is the one that found her under the vehicle. The couple had only been married approximately four months at the time of her death. The vehicle that hit her was gone by the time emergency personnel arrived. Paramedics rushed the woman to the hospital, but it was too late. She succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead by hospital personnel.

Even though it is believed that the driver may be an illegal immigrant, the victim's widower may file a Utah wrongful death claim against him and any separate owner of the vehicle involved in the crash. If the driver is convicted of the criminal charges filed against him in this tragedy, that conviction may be used in a civil action as evidence of the driver's negligence. Fatal DUI accidents take thousands of lives each year. In every instance, they have a lasting impact on the families of the victims.

Source: sltrib.com, Utah man accused of hitting, killing woman on sidewalk to stand trial, Jessica Miller, Nov. 26, 2013

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