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Man wanted for allegedly running over West Jordan smoke shop employee is arrested

Handcuffs hang from a bench in the pre-booking area of the Utah County Jail, where suicides are increasing. Deseret News archives

WEST JORDAN — A man wanted for allegedly running over a smoke shop employee multiple times in West Jordan has been arrested.

Kelly Vaughn Burge, 23, was arrested for investigation of attempted murder, aggravated robbery, obstructing justice and leaving the scene of an accident.

On Dec. 21, an employee at Smokey’s Discount Cigarettes, 1597 W. 9000 South, tried to stop a man who had stolen something from the store, according to West Jordan police. When the clerk confronted the man in the parking lot, he was hit by his fleeing car. Zachary Leroy Don Allen was taken to a local hospital in critical condition and was still recovering as of Tuesday, according to West Jordan police.

Because witnesses told police that Allen was run over multiple times, police said when Burge was arrested, it was for investigation of attempted murder rather than aggravated assault.

After the incident was reported by the media, West Jordan received a tip about the identity of the driver, according to a police affidavit. The tipster told investigators that Burge had told him what had happened. Details about the incident provided by the tipster that were told to him by Burge “were very specific and weren’t details that had been released about the case” publicly by police, according to the affidavit.

Police received a second tip from a person who also knew Burge and was able to provide surveillance video of him from the same day at a different location wearing the same clothes as when he was at the smoke shop, the affidavit states.

Four days after the West Jordan incident — on Christmas Day — Burge was arrested by West Valley police for allegedly stealing a laptop and then crashing through a fence to try and get away by driving through a golf course, according to a police affidavit. He was driving the same vehicle used to run over the smoke shop employee, the affidavit states.

Allen was later able to pick Burge out of a photo lineup, according to the affidavit.