Driver who caused 6-car crash on Timpanogos Highway faces multiple charges

A man police say slammed into the back of a car at a red light on the Timpanogos Highway in September, causing six total cars to crash, is now facing numerous charges.

A man police say slammed into the back of a car at a red light on the Timpanogos Highway in September, causing six total cars to crash, is now facing numerous charges. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

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LEHI — A Highland man who police say caused a six-car crash and seriously injured several people is now facing a long list of criminal charges.

On Sept. 24, William Allen Andrew Koontz, 34, was driving on the Timpanogos Highway and approaching a red light at the intersection of North Center Street in Lehi at a high rate of speed, according to charging documents.

Koontz claimed he saw the red light and the cars that were stopped at the light, but "his sandal got stuck under the brake pedal and he could not stop or slow down," the charges state.

He slammed into the back of one car, setting off a chain-reaction accident involving five vehicles stopped at the light.

The first car that Koontz directly hit "was crushed and unrecognizable," according to the charges. Three people in that car were injured. One had to be taken by medical helicopter to a local hospital in critical condition with a traumatic brain injury, the charges state.

Two people in the next vehicle suffered concussions and other various injuries, the charges state. The next vehicle also had two people inside. They were treated and released at the scene, but their vehicle had to be towed, the charges state. The remaining two vehicles reported minimal damages and injuries.

Koontz told police that "his shoe slipped off and 'I was like brake, brake, brake,'" the charges state.

But investigators found drug paraphernalia in his car and an empty alcohol bottle — and found out that his license was suspended and that he was supposed to have an interlock device installed in any vehicle he drives, according to the charges.

A blood draw was conducted and Koontz was found to have amphetamine and morphine in his system, neither of which he had a prescription for, the charges state. Koontz has two prior convictions for DUI.

He was charged Monday in 4th District Court with seven counts of negligently operating a vehicle resulting in injury, three third-degree felonies and four class A misdemeanors; DUI, a third-degree felony; two counts of drug possession, a class A misdemeanor; possession of drug paraphernalia and operating a vehicle without an interlock system, class B misdemeanors; driving on a suspended license, a class C misdemeanor; and following too close, an infraction.

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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.


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