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Victim in Millard County I-15 crash dies; Suspected drunk driver arrested

file photo/stock image/generic graphic: emergency medical ambulance drowning EMT paramedic ambulance critical injury injured
Posted at 5:23 PM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 19:23:31-04

MILLARD COUNTY, Utah — One person has died after being critically injured in a crash last weekend, and the man suspected of causing the accident has been charged with automobile homicide and driving under the influence.

The accident occurred Saturday afternoon on I-15 near Kanosh in Millard County. According to the Utah Highway Patrol, a man was driving recklessly on northbound I-15 — swerving in between other vehicles and fluctuating between both dangerously low and high speeds — when he clipped the back of a pickup truck.

The crash sent the truck off the right side of the road and caused it to roll. The male driver was pinned inside the truck and had to be extricated. He was transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition, then flown to Utah Valley Hospital.

On Tuesday, he died from his injuries. His name has not been released.

In addition, the victim's family's dog ran away from the scene of the crash and was found dead Wednesday.

READ: Missing dog found dead after I-15 crash in central Utah

On the evening of the crash, 31-year-old Joseph Richard Gomez was arrested on several counts, including driving under the influence with serious bodily injury, DUI with personal injury, open container/drinking alcohol in a vehicle, and various traffic-related infractions.

His charges were upgraded Tuesday to include automobile homicide.

According to the UHP trooper who responded to the scene, Gomez showed signs of impairment, was unable to pass field sobriety tests, and showed an alcohol level of .223 after taking a breath test.

Gomez was ordered to be held without bail as a judge ruled him a flight risk and a potential danger to the public. According to court documents, he has history of criminal charges, including failure to appear in court and assault. Authorities say recently moved to Enoch (Iron County) from Arizona.