Police suspect a drug deal gone bad may be to blame for the death of a Salt Lake man, who was dragged several hundred feet Wednesday while hang-ing onto a moving car.
The unidentified man, believed to be in his 30s, was standing outside the passenger side door of an older model Nissan near 350 West and 300 South about 8:30 p.m. when the car's driver suddenly sped from the curb, according to Salt Lake Police Lt. Dennis Tueller."We're still trying to determine exactly what happened," said Tueller. "The victim had apparently been talking to two men inside the car when the vehicle pulled away and started driving east. (The victim) was either hanging onto the car or he was somehow held against the car by a passenger because he was pulled on the side."
After being dragged several hundred feet, the man fell from the accelerating car and rolled on the pavement. He died at the scene a short time later from massive head injuries.
"It's possible that he was pushed from the car," said Tueller.
A Salt Lake police officer patrolling the area witnessed the incident and stopped the Nissan moments after the victim fell, said Tueller. The two passengers, Randy L. Brown, 34, and Robert Dillenbeck, 35, both from Salt Lake City, were booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of manslaughter.
"The incident could turn into a homicide, but things are still being investigated," said Tueller. "We do know there are a lot of drug transactions that go on in the area of town, and sometimes things go wrong."
The car was also seized, but investigators will wait for a warrant before searching for drugs, said Tueller.