Man killed while waiting for a bus; driver arrested

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WEST VALLEY CITY -- An elderly man in a wheelchair who was waiting at a bus stop was hit and killed by a car Wednesday afternoon.

Police have arrested the driver, 23-year-old Nigerean native Babtunde Idowu, on suspicion of third-degree DUI and failure to maintain his vehicle. They say he failed a sobriety test at the police station.

The accident happened just east of 4000 West on 3500 South around noon. Idowu was driving a blue Volvo westbound when the vehicle veered off the road and struck the man before hitting the bus stop.

The victim, 75-year-old Kenneth D. Christensen, was thrown from his wheelchair. He was flown to the hospital where he died.

A woman who witnessed the accident said she saw the impact but did not see what led up to it. "It was a huge crash, just a huge crash; and then I heard the glass shatter. You knew something happened, and it was kind of one of those reactions where you haven't been used to hearing something like that or seeing something like that," Heidi Bloomquist said.

Bloomquist says she immediately attended to Christensen and Idowu, who was extremely upset. As she attempted to calm Idowu down, she says he claimed he swerved while trying to avoid another car or something in the road, and that's when he lost control.

Police are still looking for more information on what led up to the accident "We're actually hoping that if there was anybody out there at the scene that may have seen what happened prior to the incident that could call and help us out, that would be very much appreciated," said West Valley police Sgt. Chad Evans.

Police say there are no skid marks indicating the driver tried to stop the vehicle. Idowu suffered only minor injuries in the crash.

If you have any information on the accident, you can contact the West Valley Police Department at 801-840-4000.


Story compiled with contributions from Courtney Orton, Whit Johnson and Marc Giauque.


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