Utah man charged in crash that killed two children, critically injured mother

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OGDEN — A North Ogden man who police say caused a three-car crash in North Ogden last year, killing two young siblings and critically injuring their mother, had drugs in his system, court documents show.

Alexander Vernon Salas, 61, was charged Tuesday in 2nd District Court with three counts of driving with a measurable controlled substance and causing death or serious injury, a third-degree felony.

On Oct 23, Salas was driving on Washington Boulevard near 1700 North when he "veered from the outside southbound lane across about three and a half travel lanes and collided with a northbound vehicle in the outside northbound lane. Witnesses reported seeing no brake lights from Salas' vehicle and there did not appear to be evidence of braking at the scene as there were no skid marks," according to charging documents.

Salas hit another car head-on, according to police. Troy Cox, 13, and his younger sister, Molly Cox, 11, were both killed. Their mother, Shela Cox, 40, who was driving, suffered multiple fractures to her legs and arms and lost consciousness, according to charging documents.

Salas was also treated for broken bones.

A third car was caught in the crash, according to police. That driver, Kimberly McCaig, 30, of Ogden, was treated at the scene and released.

Investigators drew blood from Salas and discovered "that marijuana metabolite and diazepam were in his blood," the charges state.

"Alexander Salas was interviewed and he admitted to taking a 'deep hit' of marijuana the night prior to the accident. He admitted that he was 'high' for 20 minutes," according to charging documents. "He does not remember the crash and only remembers awakening after the crash to being in great pain. He admitted to taking Valium prior to the incident and that he did not have a prescription for it."

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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