HERRIMAN — A Herriman man died Saturday hours after he was punched and knocked unconscious in a fight with his girlfriend's brother whom she had called to rescue her, police said.
Blake Burningham, 24, had been on life support following the early morning fight, but died Saturday afternoon at Intermountain Medical Center.
Officers were called about 1 a.m. to a "fight in progress" at 5973 W. Moon Shadow Drive in Herriman. "When officers arrived, they could see a man lying in the road near the driveway," said Unified police detective Jared Richardson.
A neighbor was performing CPR on Burningham. Officers took over the CPR until paramedics arrived and transported him to Riverton Hospital. He was then flown by medical helicopter to Intermountain Medical Center.
Detectives learned that Burningham and his Sandy girlfriend had been involved in a verbal fight that escalated into a physical assault, Richardson said. At some point, the girlfriend called her brother, who lives in a different city, and he went and picked up the crying woman at a school near the Herriman home.
"Sometime later, he came back to the Herriman residence with her," the detective said. The brother, Cole Pedersen, 24, said he decided to go back because he wanted to talk to the boyfriend, but he and Burningham began to argue and push each other, a Salt Lake County Jail report states.
"Cole said he punched the victim on the left side of his face. Cole said the victim fell to the ground and he punched the victim a second time on the left side of the face," the report states. "Cole said the victim never punched him."
Burningham's brother grabbed Pedersen and pulled him away from the unconscious man, police said. Pedersen told officers he waited at the scene for them to arrive.
Burningham suffered "multiple facial fractures" and went into cardiac arrest. He was placed on life support at the hospital, according to the report.
Richardson said doctors and medical staff will help detectives determine the extent of the injuries suffered from the fight and from the fall as they investigate the case.
Police arrested Pedersen and booked him into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury. After Burningham died, however, police indicated that other more serious charges could be considered by the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office.