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Mark Wetzel, KSL TV

Man drank at bar before hitting, killing pedestrian, police say

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Dec. 9, 2019 at 10:46 a.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — A Clearfield man arrested after allegedly hitting two pedestrians, killing one, admitted to drinking at a Salt Lake bar before getting in his car and driving, according to police.

Justin Taylor Barber Williford, 23, was initially booked into the Salt Lake County Jail about 2 a.m. Sunday for investigation of DUI with serious injury. The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office could file more serious charges.

Salt Lake police say Williford hit two pedestrians in a crosswalk at the intersection of 300 South and 500 East. Williford was traveling east on 300 South as his car approached a red light at 500 East. The light turned green but two pedestrians had not finished crossing the street, according to police, and Williford struck both as he continued through the intersection.

Salt Lake police confirmed one person later died at a local hospital. The condition of the second person was not immediately released. Police have not yet released their names.

The arresting officer detected an odor of alcohol on Williford, who “admitted to drinking at a local bar and driving his car,” according to a police booking affidavit.

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While administering DUI tests, Williford was not able “to maintain balance” when asked to perform a nine-step walk, the affidavit states. When asked to stand on one leg, he “showed impairment by swaying during the test.”

Police obtained a search warrant to draw blood to have tested, the affidavit states.

According to court records, Williford, took a plea in abeyance in 2018 to marijuana/spice possession, a class B misdemeanor, in exchange for two traffic infractions and a possession of drug paraphernalia charge being dismissed. As part of his probation, Williford was subject to six months of random drug testing, which he completed.

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