A Salt Lake man has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder in connection with a fight and car chase Sunday.
David Akaleo Tongamana, 19, 1545 Van Buren Circle, is accused of causing the deaths of Junior Sio, 24, Falau Gasu, 21, and Olataga Sio, 30, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday afternoon in 3rd Circuit Court.Bail was set at $200,000.
A second suspect, Malievave Sipai, 21, who was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail along with Tongamana following the incident, will not be charged with any crime related to the homicides because he was a passenger. Sipai was released from jail Thursday evening. West Valley police, however, are still investigating him in connection with a fight at a club.
During that fight, which occurred about 2 a.m. Sunday outside the Hut, 3550 S. Redwood Road, Junior Sio was struck in the forehead with a tire iron. His companions placed him in the back of a small pickup truck and drove off to take him to a hospital.
Their vehicle was pursued north on Redwood Road by a van, which rammed the pickup from behind and then struck it from the side, causing the pickup to go off the road near 2000 South.
The pickup truck rolled several times, ripping its roof open. Olataga Sio and Falau Gasu, who were in the cab, were ejected and died at the scene, said Vuyk. Junior Sio died the following day. A fourth passenger, Televisa Sio, 17, who was in the back of the pickup with Junior Sio, was thrown from the pickup truck but was in good condition Friday at LDS Hospital.
After a Tongan Salt Lake police officer interviewed witnesses, police located Tongamana and Sipai at their homes and booked them into jail.
Witnesses identified Tongamana as the driver of the van, according to the complaint.
The van, a 1988 Plymouth Voyager, was located near 1300 West and Cheyenne St. (300 South). Officers learned it had been stolen the day before from a Woods Cross woman who had left it in the ZCMI Center parking plaza.
In addition to the homicide charges, Tongamana is being held on a warrant charging him with a 1988 robbery.