Facebook Twitter

Vodka bottle found at crash

SHARE Vodka bottle found at crash

A smashed bottle containing "Twist of Watermelon" Smirnoff vodka was among the items seized by police at the scene of an accident that left three members of a family dead earlier this month.

According to a search warrant affidavit made public on Tuesday in 3rd District Court, police found the partially full Smirnoff bottle inside the driver's compartment of the vehicle driven by a 17-year-old Skyline High School senior. The teen was charged last week with the deaths of Melissa Williams, 41, and her unborn child, as well as Ben Williams, 11, and 9-year-old Anna Williams.

In addition to the four counts of felony automobile homicide, the teen was also charged with causing injury, also a felony, and various misdemeanors including fleeing the scene of an accident, driving under the influence of alcohol and possession of alcohol. Toxicology reports released last week state the teen had a blood-alcohol level of .15, nearly twice Utah's legal limit.

Other items taken Feb. 9 from the 2000 E. Stanford Ave. scene — where the teen's SUV rammed a passenger car in the side, sending it into a concrete barrier and then onto its roof — include blood and hair samples and various pieces of the two vehicles.

Seat belt assemblies and air bag modules were removed to verify which passengers were restrained at the time of the accident. Other items were taken in an attempt to help investigators determine the speed of the vehicle at the time of the crash, or to help identify the vehicle's occupants.

Christopher Williams, 42, driver of that family's vehicle, and his 6-year-old son were injured in the crash.

The alcohol bottle was somewhat crushed after the vehicle was uprighted by investigators at the scene, according to court documents.

Court documents also indicate that the teen was found by police about five blocks away, after leaving the scene. A witness to the accident had spoken with him and gave police a description of the teen. He was wearing a bloody T-shirt, jeans, socks and no shoes, as stated in court documents. He consented to a blood draw after officers noticed "signs of probable alcohol impairment."

The teen has been charged as a juvenile but Salt Lake District Attorney Lohra Miller has filed a motion asking that the teen, who turns 18 in May, be tried as an adult.

E-mail: wleonard@desnews.com