Manslaughter charges filed against driver who allegedly killed two toddlers in Utah County

Posted at 1:00 PM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 18:23:18-04

UTAH COUNTY, Utah — The driver that allegedly killed two toddlers in Utah County on May 2 has been charged with two counts of manslaughter, felonies that each carry a potential sentence of one-to-15 years in prison, according to an announcement made in a Thursday morning press conference by Utah County Attorney David Leavitt.

READ: Two toddlers hit, killed by car in Utah County; driver in custody

Investigators said that Barlow was driving near 100 miles per hour when he ran through a stop sign and left the road after weaving in and out of traffic.

Odin Ratliff and Hunter Jackson, both 3 years-old, were playing with trucks in a corral in Eagle Mountain and were killed instantly when Barlow's car ran over them.

READ: Utah mom grieving loss of 3 year-old son and friend killed by car while playing outside

A preliminary drug test of Barlow came back positive for methamphetamine and amphetamines.

When questioned why Barlow is not also facing drug charges, Leavitt responded that because they do not plan to accept any plea bargains in this case, his office wants to pursue the most serious charges possible that carry the largest potential prison sentences.

Barlow was paroled in October, 2021 after being convicted of stealing a motorcycle and police car; when questioned about why Barlow was released for these crimes, Leavitt explained that they did not occur in Utah County and his office had no jurisdiction over that case.

READ: Community gathers for candlelight vigil to honor two boys killed by car

And although the passengers in Barlow's car were also injured, no additional charges will be brought so that the state can concentrate on the most serious allegations, although according to Leavitt, Barlow's prior convictions and the injuries related to the crash can be considered as evidence in a sentencing hearing if he is found guilty.

Leavitt also said that while his office has been in touch with the families of the two toddlers, they have not discussed the charges against Barlow with them yet.