Police: Man charged in accident that killed West Jordan teen drank 7 beers before getting behind the wheel

Eli Mitchell, 13. Photo released by South Jordan Police Department

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 4, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill on Wednesday filed formal charges against Mason Ohms in the death of 13-year-old Eli Mitchell.

Ohms, 50, faces charges of:

  • Automobile homicide, a second-degree felony
  • Failure to remain at accident involving death, a third-degree felony
  • Obstructing justice, a third-degree felony
  • Failure to yield to a pedestrian, an infraction

Newly filed court documents reveal that immediately prior to the fatal accident, Ohms had left a bar where he had consumed seven 40 ounce beers. When tested six hours after the accident, Ohms’  blood alcohol level was at 0.1, twice the legal intoxication level in Utah. A second blood draw an hour later showed his level at 0.08, still 160% of the legal limit.

The accident

West Jordan police say Mitchell was riding his bicycle at about 6 p.m. in a crosswalk on April 26 at 1510 W. 9000 South when he was hit by a light-colored Chevrolet pickup. Mitchel was run over by both the front and back wheels of the pickup, Ohms’ probable cause statement says.

Bystanders and the police did CPR on the West Jordan Middle School student before medical crews arrived. The teen was transported to Intermountain Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, West Jordan police confirmed.

Ohms’ probable cause statement indicates the boy was wearing a helmet, but suffered significant head trauma and broken bones.

Ohms, whose license plate was recorded by witnesses, was arrested later the same night, and police noted he appeared to be intoxicated.

“We sincerely appreciate all the witnesses who supplied the information necessary to bring Mr. Ohms to justice,” Officer Samuel Winkler, West Jordan Police Department, wrote in a Wednesday morning police statement.

“We know Mr. Ohms arrest will not bring back this lost child to his grieving family; however, we hope it allows them to have some closure.”

Into custody

Ohms’ probable cause statement revealed that witnesses at the scene said Ohms fled the scene, but stopped at a parking lot, where the “driver got out of the vehicle and removed the bicycle from underneath his truck and then got back into the vehicle and continued to flee the scene.”

Ohms owns a 2007 silver Chevrolet Silverado with the plate that matches the suspect vehicle, and his clothing matched that on the recording from the scene.

When confronted outside his residence and told it was about a hit and run, “Mason spontaneously stated, I felt a bump and did not know what it was.”

Ohms was booked into the Salt Lake County jail system, where he is being held without bail.

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