Utah mom charged with criminal homicide after wrong-way DUI crash kills 1 daughter, critically injures other

Utah Highway Patrol vehicles. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

ELSINORE, Utah, Jan. 9, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A 33-year-old mother has been charged with five felonies after a Sunday morning traffic accident that left one of her daughters dead and one in extremely critical condition.

Cami Jean Aparicio was reportedly uninjured after the wrong-way accident on Interstate 70 at Elsinore, which happened at about 2:10 a.m. near mile marker 36, according to the UHP.

Aparicio’s 12-year-old daughter (who was originally reported by Utah Highway Patrol as being 11) was found deceased outside the vehicle, a 2012 Cadillac Escalade.

Aparicio’s 9-year-old daughter also had been ejected. She was located, alive but critically injured, about 30 yards from the Escalade, Aparicio’s probable cause statement says.

Aparicio faces initial charges of:

  • Criminal homicide, a second-degree felony
  • Three counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, a third-degree felony
  • Alcohol restricted driver, a class B misdemeanor
  • Limited access highways — entering/exiting

Utah Highway Patrol officers responded after being alerted to a wrong-way driver, traveling east in a westbound lane near milepost 34. Shortly after the 2:10 a.m. call to dispatch, officers were alerted to a head-on, fatal traffic collision near mile marker 36, says a probable cause statement filed by an officer of the Utah State Bureau of Investigation.

The collision involved a 2022 Cascadia commercial vehicle and the Escalade, which had been carrying Aparicio and her daughters.

“The driver of the vehicle was in her seat. Troopers located a deceased 12-year-old female next to the vehicle’s rear driver’s side tire. A 9-year-old female was located approximately 30 yards west of the Escalade.

“The 9 year old was also ejected and in critical condition. Inside the Escalade, troopers found an open box of Vizzy brand hard seltzer.”

The male and female commercial driver team from the Cascadia was interviewed, “and explained that they attempted to swerve prior to the crash,” Aparicio’s affidavit says.

“I looked at the vehicle damage and saw that the commercial vehicle had been side-swiped. The Escalade appeared to have made significant contact with the trailer, causing the violent damage to the Escalade. The rear axels of the trailer were heavily damaged and the commercial vehicle was disabled.”

Aparicio was in the Escalade’s driver’s seat.

“Troopers spoke to Cami while being treated by EMS. Cami displayed slurred speech and smelled heavily of alcoholic beverage. Cami and the 9-year-old female were transported to the Sevier Valley Hospital.”

The UHP statement released earlier says the child was transported to Primary Children’s Hospital.

“At the hospital, Trooper Putnam obtained a search warrant for Cami’s blood to confirm the alcohol content. I attempted to interview Cami at the Sevier Valley Hospital. Post-Miranda she stated that she was traveling from St. George to Ogden,” the SBI officer’s statement says.

“I asked Cami if she had been drinking and she said she couldn’t remember. I asked her why she was in Richfield if she was traveling to Ogden and she said she couldn’t remember. I asked Cami if she had been arrested for DUI in the past and she confirmed. I asked her about her alcohol of choice and she said beer. While speaking with her, I noted continued slurred speech. I decided to discontinue interviewing until she was sober.”

Aparicio was later interviewed, and told officers she left St. George at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday “after drinking two tall Hard Mike’s alcoholic drinks that she described as having higher alcohol content because they came from a liquor store,” the probable cause affidavit says. “Cami said she stopped at the Maverik in Washington City and purchased another box of alcohol.”

Aparicio is being held without bail due to the seriousness of the charges and beliefs she is a threat to herself, and the fact that she is an alcohol-restricted driver “and has demonstrated her willingness to continue driving and driving, endangering the safety of  the general public,” the statement says.


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