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SOUTH SALT LAKE — A man who claims he was the driver in a fatal auto-pedestrian crash in South Salt Lake has been arrested, two months after another man was charged for the same crime.
On Wednesday, Richard Daniel Bice, 56, of Salt Lake City, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of two counts of failing to remain at the scene of an accident involving death or serious injury and obstruction of justice.
On March 9, about 11:45 p.m., Michael Corby Westover, 42, of Salt Lake City, and Corey Wilkerson were crossing 3300 South in a crosswalk near Main Street, when a Chevy Trailblazer ran a red light and hit them both, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report. Both victims were transported to a local hospital where Westover died and Wilkerson was treated for head injuries, the report states. The Trailblazer drove off after the crash.
On April 2, Ryan Conrad Kidrick, 40, was arrested in connection with the incident and later charged in 3rd District Court with failing to remain at the scene of an accident involving death, failing to remain at the scene of an accident involving serious injury and obstruction of justice. He was released from Salt Lake County Jail Friday evening.
Now, according to a new jail booking report, Bice claims he was actually the driver that night. He was arrested Wednesday.
"(Bice) confessed to being the driver. (He) gave details that only the driver would know. (Bice) stated he fled due to having a denied (driver's license). (He) also stated he uses methadone and was also afraid of getting a DUI," the jail booking report states.
Bice, the owner of the vehicle, was first interviewed by police on March 25 after investigators found the Trailblazer in the parking lot of an apartment complex.
"During my interview with Richard, he gave multiple conflicting statements. He lied multiple times which I was able to prove," an officer wrote in a search warrant affidavit.
Bice initially claimed he was driving home from Price that night and went to Kidrick's home, the warrant states. Kidrick matched the witness description of the driver who hit the pedestrians, according to the warrant. When a witness was given a photo lineup that included pictures of both Bice and Kidrick, the witness picked Kidrick, according to the warrant.
But the day after Kidrick was arrested, his girlfriend called police to claim she had evidence that Kidrick was at home at the time of the crash, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in April.
On April 6, after formal charges were filed and an arrest warrant issued, Kidrick — who had bailed out of jail since his initial arrest — told investigators as they were arresting him again that he wanted to talk to them.
"Ryan stated that Danny (Richard Bice) told him (Ryan) that he (Danny) was driving that night. He stated that Danny gave him the coat he was wearing that night and told him to get rid of it. He stated he kept the coat and it was in the garage area of the residence," the warrant states.
Detectives did find a coat sitting on a metal box inside the garage, according to the warrant.
When Kidrick's girlfriend was interviewed, "She stated the same thing as Ryan that Danny gave him a coat to get rid of," according to the warrant.
The girlfriend also stated that "Danny gave Ryan’s mother some gold-plated money. She stated that she thought this was to bribe Ryan to not tell us that Danny was driving the vehicle," the warrant states.
Kidrick even attempted to call Bice and get him to confess to being the driver while police were listening, according to the warrant.
"Ryan stated that he could get Danny to confess on the phone if we called him. Due to this using my phone, I spoofed Ryan’s home phone number and called Danny. Ryan spoke to Danny. Danny did not say anything except he wanted to talk to him in person," the warrant states.
The Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office met Friday afternoon to evaluate Kidrick's case and determine what, if any, charges are appropriate at this point, according to a spokesman.
Bice has a long history of drugs and bad driving, according to court records. He has been convicted of driving on a denied license three times in three separate jurisdictions since September, according to court records.