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PARK CITY — A man who police say left the scene of a fatal auto-pedestrian accident in Park City has been arrested.
Nicholas Thorton Westland, 23, was booked into the Summit County Jail about 7:45 p.m. Thursday.
About a half-hour earlier, just before 7:15 p.m., 43-year-old Thomas Chauvel, of Corona Del Mar, California, was hit by a northbound car at 1482 Empire Ave., according to a police affidavit. Chauvel was with his wife, the affidavit states.
Another man, who was a doctor, told police the victim had a pulse but “was not conscious, not alert and was having trouble breathing” and bleeding heavily, the affidavit states.
A witness took a picture of a vehicle leaving the scene, a Black Tie Ski Rental van, and its license plate, according to the affidavit. Police called Back Tie Ski Rental, which contacted the employee driving the van, Westland, and had him return to the scene, the affidavit states.
Westland immediately told police “the right side corner bumper was messed up” and that the victim “was out in the middle of the road but was on the other side, he was here and I was going the speed limit, 25,” the affidavit states.
When asked why he didn’t stop if he knew he had bumped him, Westland replied, “anyone’s first reaction would have been scared (expletive),” according to the affidavit.
When told that the man was “barely hanging on to life,” Westland replied, “I cannot stress it enough how immature I acted,” the affidavit states.
At the police station, Westland continued to make comments like, “Man I just feel so (expletive) horrible” and “I have never felt like this. It is not even scary. It’s just the fact that what happened. The fact that man was just walking in the road. I just didn’t ... see him dude.” according to the affidavit. That was followed by “something softly that sounded like ‘I never wanted to hurt anyone,’” the officer noted.
After sitting silent for a moment longer, police say Westland opened up more, staying he “heard a thud, I immediately pulled over, I got out of my van, I saw that it is a person, I am completely in disarray, I am sitting there, I am sitting there. I try to look for a towel. I got back up to the guy. The cop says all right everyone leave. I turned around and got in my van. I told myself I have to go back to the shop. My night is over,” the affidavit states,
Chauvel died of his injuries at University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City. Police had earlier said he was 42 years old and was transported by medical helicopter but later released a statement saying he was 43 and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
In the statement from Park City police, Chauvel’s family thanked those who tried to revive him before emergency crews arrived.
Contributing: Annie Knox, KSL