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Woman in coma following crash with suspected impaired driver, UHP says

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A crash on I-15 in Utah County on Monday has left a woman in life-threatening condition, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.

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PROVO — The Utah Highway Patrol says a woman injured by a suspected impaired driver on Monday is in grave condition.

Patrick Anthony Nelson, 44, of Pleasant Grove, was originally arrested for investigation of misdemeanor DUI. That was increased to an arrest for investigation of felony DUI by Monday afternoon after UHP troopers got an update from doctors on the condition of one of the victims.

“I received information that one of the victims in the crash sustained injuries to her brain that are now life-threatening and has a very low percentage of living and (if she survives) will never have the same quality of life or be anywhere in the same condition prior (to the crash),” according to a police affidavit, which further noted the woman “is in a coma with very little or no brain function.”

On Monday, about 7 a.m., troopers responded to a three-vehicle crash on I-15 near Provo. Witnesses stated that Nelson, who was driving a GMC Envoy, crashed into two other vehicles and a concrete barrier, a police affidavit states.

Troopers performed field sobriety tests on Nelson and noted that he “could not keep his balance” while performing a nine step walk test, according to the affidavit.

“Mr. Nelson was not happy and stated that he thought that the tests given were unfair due to the slope of the roadway where the tests were performed,” the affidavit states.

Nelson was taken to the UHP office in Orem where a urine test was conducted. The test was “positive for benzos, meth and other (drugs)” in his system, according to the affidavit. Benzos is short for benzodiazepines, or types of drugs classified as tranquilizers.