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Woman had 3 drugs in her system when she caused wrong way, fatal head-on crash, police say

A West Valley woman was charged Tuesday with automobile homicide for allegedly causing a fatal crash in January.

A West Valley woman was charged Tuesday with automobile homicide for allegedly causing a fatal crash in January. (Billion Photos, Shutterstock)

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

KEARNS — The Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office has issued an arrest warrant for a woman police say was using drugs when she caused a fatal crash in January and tried to leave the scene.

Iesha Deliras Fernandez, 31, of West Valley, was charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with automobile homicide and drug possession, both second-degree felonies; failing to stop for a serious accident, a third-degree felony; drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia, both class B misdemeanors; driving on a denied license, a class C misdemeanor; and, failing to operate a car on the correct side of the road, an infraction.

On Jan. 20, about 9:20 a.m., Unified police responded to a crash near 4810 S. 5600 West. Fernandez, who was driving a Mazda 6, crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a Lexus ES300 head-on, according to charging documents. Police say after the crash, Fernandez started walking away and was spotted by officers waving down other cars, the charges state.

"Fernandez had blood on her face and blood coming from her mouth due to teeth she had knocked out during the accident. Fernandez was escorted back to the scene and seated on the ground where she kept rolling around asking for help," according to the charges.

She told police she was trying to get help and was not leaving the scene, but officers noted she was found 80 yards from the crash, the charges state.

The driver of the Lexus, Patrick Michael, 71, told police "that his foot was stuck and he was in pain," according to the charges. Unified Fire Authority crews extracted the man from his vehicle and transported him to a local hospital "for several broken bones, internal bleeding and other major damage to his internal organs. Officers were later informed that Michael had been rushed to surgery upon arrival at the hospital but had passed away due to his injuries," according to court documents.

In Fernandez's vehicle, detectives found methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Fernandez, who did not have a valid driver's license at the time of the crash, had blood drawn at a local hospital. Toxicology tests showed the presence of meth, amphetamine and THC, the charges state.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021 after many years of reporting for the Deseret News


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