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Police arrest man charged with automobile homicide, DUI in crash that killed 2

(Unified Police Department)


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SALT LAKE CITY — Criminal charges have been filed against a Layton man who police say was driving drunk in Big Cottonwood Canyon when he slammed into a pickup truck parked on the side of the road, killing a sleeping mother and her daughter.

Manases Vicente Castillo, 34, was charged Friday in 3rd District Court with two counts of automobile homicide, a second-degree felony; DUI, a third-degree felony; and two counts of DUI, a class A misdemeanor.

Just before 3 a.m. on Aug. 17, Sierra Rosalina Chacon was sleeping in the covered bed of a Ford F-250 along with her mother, Brandilee Kussee Chacon, 44, in a designated parking area off the side of Big Cottonwood Road near the Butler Fork Trailhead in the area of 9300 East, when a Chevrolet Malibu smashed into them.

Sierra was having a mother-daughter campout to celebrate her 16th birthday, according to her obituary.

Castillo was traveling down the canyon at a high rate of speed when he failed to make a turn and “vaulted” into the truck, according to charging documents.

Sierra was ejected from her vehicle and died at the scene. Her mother died on Sept. 17 due to “multiple organ failure due to being struck by a motor vehicle,” the charges state.

Castillo was driving with three other men in his car. Two of those men later told police that they had been drinking beer and whiskey at one of the men’s apartments when the four decided to take a drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon to see the city lights, according to the charges. The men reached their destination, and then started to drive back down the canyon about 30 minutes later.

One man suffered a broken back and broken nose, the charges state. A family member of a second man said he suffered a “major traumatic brain injury, a lacerated lung and broken bones in his spine from the collision,” the charges state.

At the hospital, a blood draw was conducted on Castillo. He registered a .14% blood-alcohol content, or nearly three times the legal limit, the charges state, and also tested positive for THC in his system.

Castillo was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Monday. He was being held in lieu of $250,000 cash-only bail.

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