PROVO, Utah, May 17, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Police have arrested a man in connection with a four-vehicle crash that killed a 3-year-old girl in Provo last month.
The Provo Police Department said in a news release Thursday it has arrested Rick Winder for four violations of the Utah Controlled Substance Act; all second-degree felonies.
The investigation showed that Winder tested positive for oxycodone during a urine test shortly after the accident.
The arrest comes after an investigation into the April 15 traffic accident that took the life of Chelsea Parkinson.
Provo Police said the accident happened at about 4:48 p.m. at the intersection of University Avenue and 3700 North. Three cars on southbound University Avenue were stopped at the light and were waiting in the left-turn lane to go east on 3700 North.
A fourth vehicle — a Pleasant Grove Utility truck driven by Winder– hit the third car, causing a chain-reaction crash.
The occupants of that third car, a red station wagon, were Chelsea, her sister and her parents. Chelsea’s 15-month-old sister was initially in critical condition, and their parents were “moderately injured.” The occupants of the other vehicles were either uninjured or sustained minor injuries.
“After reviewing video surveillance of the accident and speaking with witnesses, it was found that the truck that Rick Winder was driving had drifted from the left southbound lane on University Avenue before it crashed into three vehicles that were stopped in the left-turn lane at 3700 North,” the Thursday news release said. “This resulted in the death of Chelsea Parkinson and caused serious injuries to her family members.”
The Parkinson family issued the following statement, which was shared by police: “The Parkinson family is thankful to all who have expressed their love and concern during this difficult time. In response to the many inquiries, please know that the family is focusing their time and energy on healing physically and emotionally from all that they suffered and lost in this tragic and preventable collision. As for the criminal matter, the family trusts that the legal system will ensure that justice is served.”
Winder initially told police he was distracted prior to the crash because he kissed the hand of his girlfriend, who was also in the truck.