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Charges: Drunk driver found girlfriend dead in crash; drank again before calling 911

Mark James Wyler
Mark James Wyler
Washington County Jail

TOQUERVILLE, Washington County — A St. George man who police say was driving drunk in a crash that killed his girlfriend, drank more alcohol after finding the woman dead before he called police, court documents state.

Mark James Wyler, 21, was charged in 5th District Court Thursday with automobile homicide, a third-degree felony, stemming from a crash that killed Cierra Perez, 20, Sunday night.

Wyler was driving on a narrow dirt road leading to Toquerville Falls when his car went off a cliff, eventually tumbling about 100 feet, according to a Washington County Jail report filed in court.

Wyler told police the crash occurred shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday but he didn't wake up until hours later.

"(Wyler) explained that he was not ejected from the vehicle, but became unconscious and woke up in the morning inside the vehicle" about 5 a.m., the report states. "He noticed that the female passenger was not in the vehicle with him, and found her outside and was unable to wake her up."

Wyler then "drank some of the alcohol before going to find cell service to call 911," according to the court documents. Police received a call from Wyler about 6:20 a.m. Monday.

Wyler was hospitalized after the crash and police said a portable alcohol content breath test wasn't immediately given to him. By the time one was administered, no alcohol was found in Wyler's system.

But the report says Wyler admitted drinking about 9 p.m. Sunday and witnesses told investigators he was drunk at that time. Empty alcohol bottles were found on the mountainside where the car crashed and are believed to belong to him, according to the court documents.

Wyler is also charged with driving on a revoked license, a class B misdemeanor, and a lane travel infraction. He made his initial court appearance Thursday in 4th District Court in St. George. His next hearing is set for Monday.

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