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Attorney for fatal Hurricane accident suspect argues against hit-and-run status

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Posted at 8:52 AM, Mar 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-28 19:12:42-04

HURRICANE, Utah — A man who was arrested in connection with a fatal accident in Hurricane last week is sharing his side of the story.

According to a probable cause statement, police received a report of a man in the middle of the roadway near 500 N. State Street (State Route 9) at 1:18 a.m.

At 1:21 a.m., a second call came in, reporting the man had been hit by a vehicle, which then left the scene.

Officers arrived and located a severely injured man on the road. Life-saving measures were attempted, but the unnamed victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigative efforts identified William Hendrickson as the driver of a 2006 Honda Ridgeline believed to be involved in the accident.

An attorney claiming to represent Hendrickson contacted police to set up an interview on Friday, where Hendrickson admitted he was driving the vehicle when it struck the individual in the road.

Hendrickson said he believed the obstruction in the road was debris and checked the front of the vehicle shortly after the accident, but didn't find anything that indicated to him the accident was serious.

Hendrickson also told police he was nervous because his license status is invalid.

Based on the interview, Hurricane Police determined that Hendrickson believed he had collided with an object that a reasonable person would believe required them to stop and remain on scene until they fulfilled the legal obligation of notifying police or the property owner. He was taken into custody and has been charged with a third-degree felony of failure to remain at an accident involving death.

Jason Schatz, the attorney representing Hendrickson, sent the following statement to FOX 13 News:

“Although this matter has been referred to in the media as a hit and run fatality it is unfortunately just a tragic accident. Although we have not been privy to the police reports, videos or statements of witnesses, all indications are that the deceased, for reasons yet to be determined, was laying prone in the road at the time he was struck and the accident was unavoidable. My client reached out to me before being contacted by police in order to arrange an interview with police. Mr. Hendrickson believed what he struck was either roadkill hit by the other vehicle which had already stopped at the scene or some sort of debris. We look forward to working with law-enforcement to bring closure to this tragic accident for all of the parties involved and our hearts go out to the friends and family of the deceased.”