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Mental competency exam ordered for man charged in fiery crash

Mental competency exam ordered for man charged in fiery crash

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SALT LAKE CITY — A man charged with manslaughter for a fiery downtown crash that left one dead will have his mental competency examined.

Shane Gillette
Shane Gillette

Third District Judge Denise Lindberg ordered an inquiry into the competency of Shane Roy Gillette, 35, Friday. Gillette was charged with manslaughter, a second-degree felony, operating a vehicle negligently causing injury or death, a third-degree felony, possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor, speeding 70 mph in a 30 mph zone and unsafe vehicle, both class C misdemeanors.

Gillette was driving his truck near 300 East and 500 South in Salt Lake City around 5:15 a.m. on Jan. 6 when he crashed into a vehicle driven by Julie Ann Jorgenson, 26. Jorgenson 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 Jogenson's car, which was soon engulfed in flames. The graduate student from Westminster College died on impact, according to a police report.

Gillette was "driving at highway speeds" just prior to impact, the report states. Prosecutors 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 charges state.

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

He is currently being held in the Salt Lake County Jail. A competency review hearing has been scheduled for July 15.

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Emiley Morgan


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