Husband ran over wife at Salt Lake airport, killing her after returning from vacation, police say

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Taylorsville man was arrested Monday after police say he ran over his wife in the parking structure at the Salt Lake City International Airport, killing her.

The incident occurred as the couple had returned home from vacation along with their young child, according to police booking affidavit.

Shawn Christopher Sturgeon, 38, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of "automobile homicide criminal negligence DUI of alcohol-drugs," according to jail records.

The incident happened on the second level of the short-term parking garage at the airport about 2:40 p.m. Charlotte Sturgeon, 29, was struck by an SUV driven by her husband, according to police. The couple had just arrived in Salt Lake City after being on vacation.

Detectives reviewed surveillance video from the airport parking garage and watched as Shawn Sturgeon placed his child in a rear passenger seat, then get into the driver's seat, followed by the SUV's brake lights coming on.

"The victim appears to be standing in the open rear passenger door and (her husband) begins to reverse the vehicle. The victim's legs can be seen flailing about as he continues to reverse, being dragged which causes her to fall to the ground under the vehicle," the affidavit states.

Sturgeon then drove forward, running over his wife and went about 10 feet before stopping, according to the affidavit. After stopping, Sturgeon put his wife in the front passenger seat.

"Shortly after the crash, (Shawn) Sturgeon drove the vehicle, with his wife critically injured inside, to the airport parking payment booths where he asked for help," according to a statement from Salt Lake police.

Emergency crews responded and found the couple at the toll booths, Salt Lake Police Sgt. Mark Wian said. Paramedics attempted lifesaving efforts before transporting Charlotte Sturgeon to a local hospital in critical condition where she died a short time later, police say.

Officers questioned Shawn Sturgeon and took him into custody.

"The arriving officers stated that (he) appeared to be under the influence of alcohol as evidenced by the odor coming from his mouth and glassy bloodshot eyes," the affidavit states. While taking Sturgeon to the Salt Lake City Police Department, officers say he "made several spontaneous utterances that he 'ran my wife over,' 'killed my wife' and 'I accidentally ran her over.'"

According to Utah law, a person can be arrested for investigation of automobile homicide if the driver "operates a motor vehicle in a negligent manner causing the death of another" and has a blood-alcohol content above the legal limit of 0.05%.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.
Arianne Brown has been a contributing writer at for many years with a focus of sharing heartwarming stories.


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