AMERICAN FORK — A West Jordan man has been charged with smashing into another car while fleeing from police, killing an 88-year-old man, allegedly because he didn't want his truck to be impounded.
Trevor Shane Pitcher, 21, was charged July 19 in 4th District Court with failure to respond to an official's signal to stop resulting in death, a second-degree felony. The charge is equivalent to a manslaughter charge.
Pitcher is also charged with reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor; having no insurance, driving with suspended registration and driving with an open container, class C misdemeanors; and running a red light, an infraction.
On July 13, a Utah County sheriff's deputy pulled Pitcher's pickup truck over near 500 E. State in American Fork for a registration violation. As the deputy was walking from his patrol car to the truck, Pitcher fled.
"The deputy returned to his patrol vehicle, activated his lights and sirens and pursued the defendant," the charges state.
The ensuing chase went from American Fork onto I-15 where the truck took the next exit at Main Street in Lehi, and then went east back into American Fork.
"During the pursuit, the defendant ran multiple red lights and reached speeds twice the speed limit. He entered onto I-15 in American Fork and then exited the freeway in the Lehi area and almost collided with another motorist. At one point during the pursuit, the defendant called his father, at which point his father told him to pull over," according to charging documents.
At the intersection of 900 W. State, after Pitcher had circled back to American Fork, the fleeing truck ran a red light and smashed into the passenger side of a vehicle, the charges state. The passenger was killed and his elderly wife seriously injured.
"The defendant was removed from the vehicle at gunpoint because he was noncompliant," according to the charges.
When interviewed by police, Pitcher said "he did not stop because he did not want his truck impounded," investigators wrote.
An open bottle of wine was also found in the vehicle and officers reported detecting an odor of alcohol on his breath. But as of Thursday, the Utah County Attorney's Office had not found evidence to show Pitcher was intoxicated during the pursuit.
His next court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 6.