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Driver in violent, fatal crash on State Street charged with murder

SALT LAKE CITY — The driver of a car that smashed into another vehicle while traveling more than 100 mph was charged Friday with murder.

Kenneth Ross Gray, 24, of West Valley, was charged in 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony; receiving a stolen vehicle, a second-degree felony; failing to stop at an officer's commands resulting in death, a second-degree felony; aggravated assault, a second-degree felony; aggravated assault, a third-degree felony; and leaving the scene of an accident involving death, a third-degree felony.

On Jan. 8, just before midnight, Gray and two others had just gotten into a stolen BMW SUV in the parking lot of the Wasatch Inn, 1416 S. State, when a Salt Lake police officer attempted to stop them.

The BMW drove over a snowbank to avoid the officer and sped away on State Street, according to charging documents. The officer did not pursue.

The SUV ran through three red lights, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report. When the driver went through another red light where State Street goes under I-80, he plowed into a Hyundai driven by Michael Green, 36, of Farmington, according to South Salt Lake police. Green's Hyundai was split in two in the violent collision. Green was killed on impact, the report states, and was thrown from his car.

A crash reconstruction team determined that when the SUV hit the Hyundai, it was travelling about 106 mph, according to charging documents.

A motorist whom Gray passed before crashing into Green's vehicle said she did not see the BMW brake before hitting the Hyundai, and "then witnessed an explosion" when it hit, the charges state.

After the crash, Gray got out and ran, but only made it a few blocks before injuries sustained in the crash prevented him from going any farther, according to police.

Isaac Clay Duncan, 21, who was also in the BMW, suffered a broken nose, and a female passenger suffered a fractured hip and vertebrae, according to the charges. Duncan was released from the hospital and returned to the Utah State Prison on a parole violation. The woman was also released from the hospital but was not arrested.

Bail for Gray was set at $1 million.