An Ogden man accused of test-driving a truck with bad brakes after a day of drinking was arraigned Tuesday on multiple charges involving a fatal head-on collision.
Clifford Ginther, 64, was killed in the crash Monday about 2:30 p.m.Dan L. Skeen was charged in 2nd Circuit Court with second-degree felony automobile homicide and misdemeanor counts of leaving the scene of an accident, driving left of center and driving on a suspended license.
Bail was set at $12,000, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for today.
Ogden police Sgt. B.K. Malmborg said Skeen was found within minutes of the accident at his home a few blocks away.
He was brought back to the accident scene where witnesses identified him as the driver of the 1973 Ford pickup that hit Ginther's 1986 Dodge.
Malmborg said Skeen admitted he had been "drinking all day" and was tested for blood-alcohol content. The results were not immediately available, but Malmborg said Skeen's blood-alcohol level was "excessive."
Skeen allegedly had been test-driving the truck for apparent faulty brakes, Malmborg said. Witnesses said he drove the truck through the intersection at 29th and Grant, swerving across the center line to avoid vehicles in the intersection.
He was traveling north in the southbound lane of Grant when he allegedly struck Ginther's vehicle at an estimated speed of 50 mph, police said. It wasn't immediately known why Skeen's license had been suspended.
Malmborg said automobile homicide is normally a third-degree felony unless gross negligence is involved. The second-degree felony version of the charge is commonly used to prosecute alcohol-related fatal accidents, he said.
"He shouldn't have been driving at all," Malmborg said.