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Family of South Jordan crash victim shares grief after suspected DUI driver runs red light, kills family member

Posted at 9:47 PM, Jan 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-24 08:39:53-05

HERRIMAN, Utah — A Herriman family is sharing their grief after a man suspected of drinking and driving in a stolen vehicle hit and killed a woman on Mountain View Corridor Wednesday morning.

South Jordan Police said 23-year old Edilberto Lopez-Ramirez admitted to stealing a truck in Herriman, drinking, then running the red light that killed 38-year old Pearl Iata.

Police also said they believe Lopez-Ramirez is responsible for a separate hit-and-run crash that took place nearby.

Family of Iata said she was headed to work from where she lives in Herriman with her father, mother and one of her brothers.

She was known as the family caretaker.

"She cared for my sick, diabetic mom and she was also diabetic herself," explained Leone Toafe, Iata's sister. "She cared for my father who has dementia, and our older brother who is epileptic."

Toafe said her father keeps asking for Pearl.

"He asks every five to ten minutes where she is," Toafe said, tearfully. "It's hard to deal with that."

Toafe described how it's also hard to deal with knowing the circumstances that led to her sister's death.

"He took something that meant so much to our family away from us, without any thought and just being selfish," she said, of Lopez-Ramirez. "He took that away from us, and we can't get it back."

Lopez-Ramirez has been booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for auto theft, automobile homicide, felony DUI, hit and run, reckless driving, and driving with an invalid driver license.