Multiple charges have been brought against the dump truck driver who was involved in an accident that killed a lady last year.
Shane Newcome, 48, has been charged with one crime of vehicular murder, a second-degree felony, one count of operating a vehicle without a licence or registration, a class C misdemeanor, and one count of speeding. He has also been charged with driving without a business licence.
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On November 16, 2021, just after noon, Draper police officers were called to an accident near 14550 South Bangerter Parkway, on the city’s Salt Lake County side. The authorities also discovered a white Toyota 4Runner SUV that had collided with a guard rail and tumbled to the foot of the hill, as well as the Peterbilt dump truck that Newcume was operating on its side and obstructing both southbound lanes.
Witnesses to the collision allegedly testified that Newcume honked as he passed through the Traverse Point and Highland crossroads. He then struck the 4Runner by tipping the dump truck as it was rounding a corner. The 4Runner’s driver was declared dead at the scene. When he noticed his brakes had failed, according to Newcume, he was on his fourth trip down the hill.
The charging documents claim that Newcume admitted to weaving through traffic at the intersection of Traverse Ridge Road and Manilla Drive and again at the intersection of Traverse Ridge Road and Highland Drive while honking his horn at each intersection.
Newcume claimed that he pulled the truck’s wheel to the right because he knew he wouldn’t be able to make the turn at Bangerter Parkway. According to Newcume, the business he worked for had replaced the truck’s brakes, tyres, air compressor, and air lines the day before. Investigators came to the conclusion that this was not what caused the disaster, though.
The brake hose was worn and leaking, and an examination of the dump truck after the collision revealed that two axels’ brake pads were not making contact with the drum, but neither problem contributed to the collision, according to the court papers. The brakes failed and overheated due to driver error and poor mountain driving style.
Officers were checking the dump truck when they detected the scent of “burnt marijuana” coming from the cab. According to toxicology findings, Newcume had 23 ng/ml of THC-COOH, a significant delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol metabolite, and 3 ng/ml of THC in his system at the time of the incident.
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In the charging documents, it is said that Newcume claimed to have been operating trucks for 30 years prior to the collision and had only begun working for a Utah-based company two weeks earlier.
Police confirmed that Newcume’s driver’s licence had been suspended and he did not have a current CDL at the time of the collision.