Following guilty pleas to a second set of amended charges, 28-year-old Luke Shroyer of Huntington now faces sentencing in connection with the auto-pedestrian collision that killed a flagger on Highway 10 south of Price last August.
During a Monday arraignment, Shroyer, standing with his attorney Steven Shapiro, plead guilty to automobile homicide, a third degree felony, and failure to remain at the scene of an accident, a class B misdemeanor.
The defendant will now work with Adult Probation and Parole in order to prepare a pre-sentencing report which the court will review prior to handing down official sentence.
The felony charge carries a 0-5 year maximum incarceration in the Utah State Prison system with the misdemeanor charge possibly adding six months in the county jail. Both pleas also carry the possibility of monetary judgment against the defendant.
Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 13 at 9 a.m. in Seventh District Court.
The incident which led to death of flagger Linda Potter, 54, of Castle Dale, took place on August 6, 2011. According to Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Dougherty, Shroyer hit Potter with his pickup truck and carried her approximately 250 feet as she was directing north bound traffic for Nielson Construction on S.R. 10. Following the impact, Shoyer reportedly continued through the construction zone and only stopped when Emery County Police caught up to him 20 miles later near Huntington.
Initially, Shoyer contended that he thought he had hit a deer and while such details were not discussed during the arraignment, they will be included in the state's pre-sentencing report.
At the time of the incident, investigators reported that the defendant did not slow down, even after the impact, and was traveling well above 30 mph. When officials caught up with Shroyer, they found him to be intoxicated. An on scene blood draw by the UHP confirmed a blood/alcohol level of .119.
While the court will now determine just how much alcohol played a role in this tragedy, Trooper Doughtery summed up the incident and offered some advice during the investigation.
"This is another senseless death on one of Utah's highways," he said. "We tell drivers everywhere that they are the only ones who can offer protection to construction workers and they can do that by slowing down."