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Driver pleads guilty to auto homicide

By JOHN SERFUSTINI
Sun Advocate associate editor

Jamie Lynn Mercurio pleaded guilty Wednesday to automobile homicide, negligence while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, in the fatal car-pedestrian collision that killed 31-year-old Aaron Simms of Price Aug. 4.

The guilty plea was entered after the charge had been reduced to a third-degree felony from the original second-degree level. Seventh Judicial District Court Judge George Harmond accepted the guilty plea after advising Mercurio of her rights and the penalties associated with the charge. He set sentencing for April 2.

Harmond ordered the Division of Adult Probation and Parole to prepare a pre-sentencing report.

The 31-year-old Price woman was driving westbound on Ridge Road south of Price when her car drifted across the center line and off the shoulder of the road, where it struck and killed Simms, who had been pulling weeds about 10 feet off the pavement. The collision occurred in front of the Nielson Construction office.

She had been released on $10,000 bail from Carbon County Jail, but was returned to jail on Jan. 26 when the county attorney's office asked for a revocation of bail.




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