An April 30 trial date has been set for a man who prosecutors say is responsible for the deaths of two young children last summer.
Steven A. Peterson was driving his friend and her two children to Colorado on June 11 when the 1968 Volkswagen van they were in rolled twice in Price Canyon.Skyler Peterson, 7, (no relation to the driver), was not wearing a seat belt and 2-year-old Kalieb Winter wasn't strapped into an infant car seat. Both died in the crash. Peterson and the mother of the children, Amadee Peterson, 31, survived the crash.
Steven Peterson was charged with two counts of misdemeanor negligent homicide. The charges were filed because he allegedly was driving 80 mph in a 55 mph zone and because the children were sleeping on blankets in the back of the van, said Deputy Carbon County Attorney George Harmond.
"We're most distressed that there isn't anything higher we could charge him with," Harmond said. "He was in an unfamiliar canyon road and unfamiliar vehicle. It was a vehicle not designed (to operate) at that rate of speed."
While it may be difficult to tell if seat belts absolutely would have saved the children, "statistics will bear out that people who are belted have a much higher rate of survival," he said.
If convicted of both class A misdemeanors, Steven Peterson could spend up to a year in jail on each count.