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Man charged in fatal accident apologizes to victims' families



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OGDEN -- Prosecutors charged one of the young men accused in a deadly car crash in Ogden. He expressed remorse Friday for what happened and responded to police accusations that he's a gang member.

Andrew Gomez is recovering at home. He wants people to know that he too, is grieving the loss of two innocent teens.

"I got four broken ribs, and my cheek bone and my nose are broken," Gomez said, but he says the physical pain is nothing compared to the pain in his heart.

"It hurts," Gomez said. "It's still hard. I couldn't even sleep last night just thinking about it."

He says he didn't know two people had died until he bailed out of jail Thursday, and he had amessage for the victims' families. "Just that I'm sorry. If I would have been the driver, I would have pulled over. It wasn't meant to be like that," he said.

Gomez was the passenger in a white Cadillac Wednesday night. His cousin, 17-year old Mark Mora, was behind the wheel. Police say they matched the description of two burglars seen in Ogden's east bench neighborhood that morning.

An officer tried to pull the car over, but Mora kept going, ran a red light and slammed into another car, killing Derek Jasper and Blake Streble.

A probable cause affidavit says after the crash, Gomez began to run from the scene and, when caught, fought with officers and clawed at one of them.

Gomez says he doesn't know why he ran. He says he doesn't know why his cousin didn't stop for police either. "We didn't really talk. It just happened," Gomez said.

Prosecutors charged Gomez with assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.

Ogden police say Gomez is a gang member with a lengthy criminal history. Gomez says police are mistaken. He says the tattoos on his neck are of the names of his 8-month-old daughter and his mother. "I like tattoos, but there are no gang affiliation tattoos on me," he said.

Court records show Gomez has numerous traffic and animal violations and only one past criminal charge of unlawful possession of alcohol by a minor. He says he's being wrongfully accused of burglary and has an alibi: he was in court dealing with a violation for having a dog running loose.

"I don't have a bad criminal background or anything," Gomez said. He says he'd like to meet the victims' families one day and apologize to them in person.

Prosecutors have not yet filed charges against Gomez's cousin, Mark Mora. Investigators have recommended vehicular homicide charges and DUI.

E-mail: syi@ksl.com

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Sandra Yi

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