Driver in airport auto-ped identified


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We now know the identity of a driver who was apparently behind the wheel of an SUV that struck a pedestrian at the airport two weeks ago. The pedestrian later died.

Patricia Dawn Jordan from Oxford, Md., was struck in a crosswalk near door 11 outside Terminal 2, the Delta terminal, on the evening of July 22. A week ago, airport officials disclosed her identity.

Today, after filing a government records request, we learned who the driver was and more about what happened.

Driver in airport auto-ped identified

According to an airport police report, the driver is identified as Evelini Kinikini, who is from Tonga and has a driver's license from there.

Kinikini told police she "was trying to block the sun with her left hand and didn't see the victim in the crosswalk until she hit her." She said, "I never saw her until it was too late."

According to the report, Kinikini was driving a GMC Yukon at about 8 p.m. when the accident happened.

Police said the victim was semi-conscious and bleeding from the back of her head. She died two days later.

Driver in airport auto-ped identified

But was speed a factor in the accident? In that area, the speed limit is posted as 10 miles per hour. Kinikini told police she was traveling about 8 miles an hour. Another witness thought the vehicle was going 15 to 20 miles per hour.

The Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office has declined the case, meaning it is unlikely to result in a felony.

City prosecutors say they're screening the case and have asked for more information from police. They will make decision about whether to file charges sometime in the next week or so.

E-mail: jdaley@ksl.com

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