Impaired driver caused fatal 3-car crash, West Valley police say

A Utah man who police say had a blood-alcohol level that was three times the legal limit was arrested and accused of causing a three-car crash that killed a woman on Friday.

A Utah man who police say had a blood-alcohol level that was three times the legal limit was arrested and accused of causing a three-car crash that killed a woman on Friday. (Jay Hancock, KSL-TV)



Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

WEST VALLEY CITY — Police have arrested a man who they say had a blood-alcohol level three time the legal limit when he caused a three-car crash in West Valley City that killed an 86-year-old woman.

Jaime Eduardo Cartagena, 35, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of negligently operating a vehicle resulting in death, DUI, negligently operating a vehicle causing serious injury, reckless driving, drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and having an open container in a vehicle.

About 7:20 p.m. Friday, Cartagena was driving on 4100 South near 4000 West when he crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a car preparing to make a left turn, according to police. The impact from that collision sent the second car into a third vehicle. Witnesses estimated that Cartagena was traveling 80 mph when he hit the vehicle waiting to turn left head-on, according to a police booking affidavit.

When officers arrived on scene, they detained Cartagena "because of his uncontrollable behavior and believed he was impaired," the affidavit states.

Ana Maria Ypanaque, 86, who was a passenger in the vehicle making a left turn was killed. A second victim was "seriously injured with a fractured spine, legs, and foot bones," police wrote in the affidavit.

Cartagena — who police say had bloodshot eyes, was slurring his speech and had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath — claimed to officers that he had only one beer, according to the affidavit. During a Breathalyzer test, his blood-alcohol level measured at 0.151%, the affidavit states.

During a search of Cartagena's car, police reported finding trace amounts of marijuana and an open container of beer in the center console, in addition to more open beer cans on the back floorboard and more marijuana.

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

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