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Driver in accident that killed Taylorsville teen won't face felony charges

Posted at 5:40 PM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 19:40:32-04

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — The Salt Lake County District Attorney will not file felony charges against a driver accused of hitting a group of boys, killing one, in a Taylorsville crosswalk last October.

Thirteen-year-old Karl Finch died in the incident, which is now in the hands of the Taylorsville City Attorney's Office.

"I am a grieving parent. I see the charging documents and I am like, looks like there is more than enough for me," said Karl's father, Jacob Finch.

Karl enjoyed lots of great memories, but while celebrating Halloween on Oct. 30, his chance to make new memories ended after he was hit by a car while walking with his brother and friends.

It was a night that changed many lives forever.

"Lots of ups and downs," Jacob said. "We have had a lot of highs, too; we have had a lot of lows."

Jacob recently learned the driver who hit the group will not face felony charges. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said the decision comes down to the evidence. FOX 13 News is not identifying the driver as he was not charged with a felony.

"We have an ethical obligation to file charges we believe are supported by the evidence, and two there is a reasonable likelihood of success at trial," Gill explained. "We did not believe we had the evidence to file and articulate the charges, let alone carry that day."

Instead, the case is being prosecuted in Taylorsville justice court where court documents reveal the driver is charged with six misdemeanors, including driving with a measurable controlled substance in the body. On the night of the accident, officers found he was in possession of illegal drugs and his blood tested positive for THC and a metabolite of cocaine.

"The metabolite, the mere presence of metabolite alone is not going to be sufficient because I have to show the impairment," said Gill.

The district attorney's decision is disappointing to the Finch family.

"It kind of stung a little bit, especially with everything that's been going on in the valley with the children and the woman and her baby being hit on the sidewalk. It stung," Finch said.

Karl’s memory lives on at a Taylorsville baseball fied where his number is retired. With so many tragedies impacting pedestrians in the past six months, his father is pleading with drivers to be safe and slow down.

"If we are late we might have to take that butt-chewing from our boss because we are late, but slow down and obey the traffic laws," pleaded Finch.

Now, months later, news of every pedestrian accent magnifies the worst possible heartbreak.

"I'd like to see something done about it," Finch said. "I'd like to see slower speed limits and stiffer penalties for people who cause this heartache and pain."

But Jacob Finch is not consumed by anger or vengeance as he knows those emotions won’t bring Karl back.

"For my wife and I, what keeps us calm and grounded is our faith in God and knowing where Karl is at and we will be with him again."