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Manslaughter charges filed in fatal downtown crash

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Manslaughter and other charges were filed in 3rd District Court Monday against a man accused in the fiery crash that killed a 26-year-old woman earlier this month.

Shane Roy Gillette
Shane Roy Gillette

Shane Roy Gillette, 35, was driving his truck near 300 East and 500 South around 5:15 a.m. on Jan. 6 when he crashed into a vehicle driven by Julie Ann Jorgenson. Jorgensen was stopped at a red light at the intersection when the truck plowed into the rear of her vehicle.

The impact of the collision ignited Jogensen's car, which was soon engulfed in flames. The graduate student from Westminster College died on impact, according to a jail report.

Gillette was "driving at highway speeds" just prior to impact, the report states. Charging documents say he was traveling 70 mph.

"The vehicle that Shane Gillette was driving had all the windows frosted over to the extent there was very limited ability for observation of other traffic on the roadway," the report says.

Police investigators determined Gillette had not been traveling in one lane, but rather straddling the lane divider line, according to jail records.

A "drug recognition expert" examined Gillette after the accident and determined that he had been "under the influence of a drug" at the time of the accident. A misdemeanor charge for possession of drug paraphernalia accompanies the second-degree felony manslaughter charge.

Gillette remains in the Salt Lake County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.


Story written with contributions from Steve Fidel and Pat Reavy.

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