The 7th District Court has sentenced the Brigham City motorist convicted of three counts of negligent homicide to concurrent six-month jail terms.
The defendant, 51-year-old Irene C. Apodaca, appeared at the sentencing phase in the misdemeanor category criminal complaint last Tuesday before Judge Bruce K. Halliday.
Carbon County Attorney Gene Strate served as the state prosecutor at the Nov. 12 criminal proceeding and Dale Douris represented the defendant at the sentencing phase in the misdemeanor category case.
Pronouncing judgment in the class A negligent homicide and class C failure to observe a no passing zone criminal convictions, the court sentenced Apodaca to three concurrent one-year terms in the Carbon County Jail.
Judge Halliday subsequently suspended the service of all but six months of the designated incarceration periods upon the defendant's full payment of a $100 fine amount plus applicable interest.
In addition, the court authorized the defendant's legal counsel to arrange to have Apodaca complete the remaining jail time in the Box Elder County correctional facility, on condition the Brigham City motorist covers all related costs.
In conclusion, the district judge authorized Apodaca's work release from official custody and ordered the defendant to voluntarily report to the Carbon County or Box Elder jail no later than Dec. 2 to commence serving the six months of incarceration.
On Sept. 5, the district court rendered guilty verdicts in the criminal case filed against the defendant in connection with a July 2001 triple fatal traffic accident in Cat Canyon.
The formal criminal information charged Apodaca with three separate class A negligent homicide counts along the class C failure to observe a no passing zone traffic violation.
The class A negligent homicide and class C no passing zone offenses stem from a chain-reaction collision on U.S. Highway 6 east of Wellington that claimed the lives of three California men on July 25, 2001.
According to the Utah Highway Patrol's investigation into the incident, the accident occurred when a mini-van allegedly crossed the center line to pass a semi-truck and forced the victims' Lincoln Town Car off the roadway.
The Lincoln's driver attempted to bring the vehicle back onto the highway, but apparently overcorrected and struck a Ford Taurus. The Town Car then collided into a tractor-trailer and the force of the impact demolished the Lincoln. All three occupants traveling inside the Towncar succumbed to accident-related injuries.
The UHP's follow-up investigation into the fatal mishap identified Apodaca as the motorist operating the mini-van at the time of the incident.
Filed in the district court by the Carbon County Attorney's Office, the formal complaint contended that the defendant acted with criminal negligence and caused the deaths of the three California residents killed in the Cat Canyon accident.
The criminal information identifies the victims of the class A negligent homicide counts as Oran Neve, Donald Wayne Neve and Donald Christopher Neve.
Addressing the class C traffic violation, the formal misdemeanor category criminal complaint contended that Apodaca committed the offense when the mini-van traveled "on the left side of the pavement striping designed to make a no-passing zone."