SALT LAKE CITY, UT. (AP) — A dump truck operator has pleaded guilty to automobile homicide following a crash that killed six people.
Jamie Don McKenzie, of Heber City, entered the guilty pleas in 4th District Court to three felony counts, the Deseret News reported .
Three additional automobile homicide charges, as well as two drunken driving counts, were dismissed as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Prosecutors offered the plea bargain because the recommended sentence for the three counts McKenzie pleaded to would not differ much from the penalty for convictions on each of the original charges, according to Deputy Wasatch County Attorney Case Wade.
McKenzie, 42, also agreed to pay restitution to each of the six men’s families.
McKenzie was hauling dirt on Oct. 19 when his truck crossed the median on U.S. 40 near Jordanelle Reservoir and vaulted over the cable barrier, then broadsided a pickup truck carrying six laborers traveling to a work site, Utah Highway Patrol troopers reported.
McKenzie’s blood alcohol level was determined to be 0.29%, more than three times above Utah’s new 0.05 % legal threshold, Wade said. Three men were thrown from the pickup, and another three were still inside when the dump truck crushed the cab.
The three counts he admitted to Wednesday each carry a possible sentence of at least one year and up to 15 years in prison.
Sentencing was scheduled for May 29.
Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com