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Arizona dentist charged in 2019 fatal auto-pedestrian crash in southern Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY — An arrest warrant has been issued for an Arizona man who police say had marijuana in his system when he hit and killed a man who had stopped to take pictures on the side of a road in San Juan County.

Andrew David Zeiger, 35, of Prescott, Arizona, was charged Friday in 7th District Court with automobile homicide, a second-degree felony; and obstructing justice, a third-degree felony.

On Dec. 29, 2019, on state Route 191 near the Utah-Arizona border, Jun Xue stopped his family's car along the side of the road so he could get a picture of the sunset, according to a report prepared by the Utah Highway Patrol and submitted to the San Juan County Attorney’s Office.

According to Xue’s wife, “her husband crossed the road to the other shoulder where he took a few photos. As Jun was walking back across the street with his camera and tripod ... that’s when a car sped by and hit him,” the report states.

According to the report, the speed limit is 65 mph and it was dusk and partly cloudy at the time of the collision, but visibility was “clear.”

Zeiger told the UHP trooper on scene that “he didn’t see Jun Xue until the last minute and by then it was too late,” the report states.

The trooper also learned that Zeiger has a medical marijuana card out of Arizona and takes Adderall in the mornings and Xanax at night, according to the report, and that the last time he used marijuana was 11 p.m. the night before with friends in Colorado.

Zeiger did not perform well on field sobriety tests, the report indicates, and a blood test later revealed both THC and amphetamines in his system.

The trooper gave Zeiger a ride to a motel in Monticello. During the drive, Zeiger called his mother to let her know what had happened.

“I heard Andrew’s mom ask him if he was high when he hit that guy in the road,” the report states.

Zeiger tried to avoid the question and told his mother he was with a state trooper and would call her again when he got to the hotel, the trooper stated in the report.

Two days later, the trooper went back to the accident scene for follow-up investigation and noticed footprints leading off the road from where Zeiger’s vehicle came to a stop to an area of sagebrush, according to the report. In the sagebrush, the trooper found some drug paraphernalia and a duffle bag with three small canisters of marijuana, the report states.

When troopers attempted to obtain a DNA sample from Zeiger to compare to the items found, Prescott police stated they could not find him at his residence.

Zeiger is a dentist in Arizona and holds a doctor of dental surgery title. The report notes that on July 30, 2020, police in Prescott reached out to his practice and were told that they hadn't seen Zeiger in about three months.

Police again attempted to reach out to Zeiger on Dec. 17, but local police were unable to find him.