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Alleged drunken driver to face automobile homicide charge in deadly June crash

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SALT LAKE CITY — A suspected drunken driver involved in a fatal crash with a motorcyclist in June is facing an automobile homicide charge.

Cesar Joen Rivera, 22, of Midvale, who is also known as Cesar Rivera Herrera, was charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with automobile homicide, a second-degree felony; drug possession, a class B misdemeanor; and failing to stay in his lane, an infraction.

On June 2, Rivera was driving a Honda Accord the wrong-way on State Street about 5:30 a.m. when he crashed head-on into a Kawasaki motorcycle near the intersection of 7200 South, according to charing documents. He then hit a second car making a right turn onto State Street, the charges state.

“It’s one of the worst crashes I’ve ever seen,” Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray said at the scene that day.

The motorcycle rider, Albert Curtis Higginson, 81, received life-threatening injuries and died at a local hospital a short time later.

According to the charges, Rivera’s blood-alcohol content measured at 0.11%, and THC was also found in his system.

A $100,000 warrant was issued Tuesday for Rivera’s arrest.