DUI driver arrested in St. George auto-pedestrian crash tests 6 times above legal blood alcohol limit

Ambulance. File photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

ST. GEORGE, Utah, Sept. 17, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A 23-year-old man was booked into the Washington Count jail Friday after he allegedly struck a pedestrian with his SUV, fled the scene, then collided with two vehicles a few blocks away.

Police were called to the area near 600 North 2450 East, at 9:16 p.m. Thursday. As they responded, they found a second accident scene at 450 North and 2350 East. Victims in two cars complained of injuries, charging documents say.

At the scene where the pedestrian was struck, officers found a woman unconscious but breathing.

“It appeared she sustained serious bodily injuries and was transported by medical staff to the hospital,” says a statement filed by an officer of the St. George Police Department.

“Upon initial evaluation at the hospital, doctors said the victim will required multiple stitches to their head and they sustained multiple lacerations.”

Witness accounts

Witnesses told police they saw the driver “flee the scene of the vehicle vs pedestrian and then crash into the vehicle at 450 North 2450 East. The suspect vehicle in the 450 North
accident was driving a gold SUV. matching gold paint chips were located at the scene of the pedestrian accident, confirming this was the vehicle involved.”

The driver was identified by his Utah driver license as Kord Devan Johnson.

“Kord had constricted pupils, watery and bloodshot eyes and visible red conjunctiva was visible in both eyes. When Kord spoke, I observed his speech to be slurred and he had an
overwhelming odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath.

“During a brief investigative interview with Kord he admitted he takes anti-anxiety medication, anti-psychotic medication, anti-depressant medication and ‘anti-alcohol medication.'”

The suspect admitted he had consumed “a couple of shots and 3 or 4 beers” three to four hours prior, the statement says.

Johnson was charged on suspicion of:

  • Failure to remain at an accident involving serious injury, a third-degree felony
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, a third-degree felony
  • Two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, a class A misdemeanor
  • Reckless driving, a class B misdemeanor
  • Unlawful purchase by interdicted person, a class B misdemeanor

The suspect did poorly on a field sobriety test, the arresting officer wrote in the report.

“During the 9-step walk and turn test and the one-leg stand test, Kord claimed his tailbone was hurting and was unable to perform these tests.”

A preliminary breath test “yielded a breath alcohol concentration of .320, which is more than 6 times the legal limit in Utah,” the police statement says.

Probation

A records check determined that exactly a month prior to the incident on Sept. 15, Johnson was sentenced to 36 months of probation.

“Because of this, Kord was found to be an interdiction person consuming alcohol,” his arresting documents say.

Johnson was transported to a local hospital for medical clearance, the officer’s statement says.

“While at the hospital, I was able to observe the pedestrian who was stuck. She was still very out of it and could not remember anything from the incident. I observed her to have a large laceration across her forehead which was stitched closed. Her right side of her face was purple and red and swollen. She had road rash on both hands, arms and her left shoulder.

“It is very evidence the victim in this case will have visible scarring, at a minimum, for the rest of her life with a potential for internal trauma as well.”

The officer also noted that Johnson was aware he struck a pedestrian, but did not ask about the woman’s condition.

“Instead he only asked about how long he would be in jail for and complained his tailbone hurt.”

Johnson was ordered held without bail at the Purgatory Correctional Facility.

Gephardt Daily will have additional information on this case as it develops.

Purgatory Correctional Facility. Image: Google Streets

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