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Charges: Truck driver was using cellphone at time of fatal crash near Park City

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PARK CITY — The driver of a semitrailer who plowed into the back of a car while looking at his cellphone, killing one person and leaving a second person paralyzed, has been charged.

Nathaniel R. Bone, 37, of Midvale, was charged Friday in 3rd District Court with "text messaging or email automobile homicide," a second-degree felony; and texting or emailing while driving, a class B misdemeanor.

Just after midnight on May 27, Bone was driving a semitrailer hauling two tankers of crude oil from the Uinta Basin to a Salt Lake refinery, according to charging documents. He was on state Route 40 when a Saturn sedan in front of him stopped, apparently because of a deer crossing the road, the charges state.

The car was "significantly" ahead of Bone, who admitted to police he looked down at his phone while his truck was going uphill, according to court documents. Bone said he was looking online at classified ads.

"Bone said he did not expect another vehicle to be in front of him in his lane, and he was looking at his phone when climbing the hill," charges state. "By the time Bone noticed the Saturn, he did not have time to stop."

"I got on the phone and got on the internet, just glancing while I was driving," he told investigators, court records state. "Bone said that he typically uses his phone when driving a commercial vehicle when he believes he 'is not a danger.'"

Bone told investigators that when he looked up again, "it was too late to do anything" and he hit the back of the Saturn "a split second later," according to the charges.

Police determined Bone hit the back of the other vehicle while traveling 39 mph without braking, according to court records. The Saturn's rear bumper was "crushed into the back of the front seats," court records state.

Authorities noted that Bone was "visibly upset" when troopers arrived at the scene.

Landon Peatross was killed in the crash. Sandra Bowden was left paralyzed from the waist down, in addition to sustaining several broken ribs and lacerated organs, charges state.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021 after many years of reporting for the Deseret News


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