Suspect booked for vehicular homicide after alleged victim found next to road in Uintah County

Wayland Serawop. Photo: Uintah County Sheriff

UINTAH COUNTY, Sept. 26, 2020  (Gephardt Daily) – One man is dead and another is in custody, charged with vehicular homicide, after an accident Friday south of Fort Duchesne.

The man jailed is Wayland Charles Serawop, 46. He faces charges of:

  • Automobile homicide, a second-degree felony
  • Failure to remain at accident involving serious injury, a third-degree felony
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, a third-degree felony
  • Possession or use of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor
  • Driving on a revoked license, a class B misdemeanor
  • Ignition interlock violation, a class B misdemeanor
  • Alcohol restricted driver, a class B misdemeanor

Officers from the Uintah County Sheriff and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) were dispatched to an accident at 7500 East 5700 South at about 4:30 p.m. on Friday, a UCSO statement says.

A red Dodge pickup truck was found stuck on an embankment at the side of the road.

A witness reported seeing “clothes in the middle of the road and stopped to see a male driver in the Dodge trying to get the vehicle unstuck,” the probable cause statement says. “The dodge was described to be off an embankment and could not move.

The witnesses told deputies he then “saw a male entangled in a barbed wire fence that appeared to be deceased” and “the driver of the vehicle had gotten out and started to walk away from the scene wearing a white tank top and jeans.”

The man who walked away, later identified as Serawop, was found hiding in the trees not far from the accident by officers of the BIA. He was wearing clothing that matched the description given by the witness, according to the BIA officers. Serawop was cuffed and put in the back of a patrol car, the probable cause statement said.

“Investigators believe the vehicle was originally traveling south on 7500 East when it went off the right shoulder of the road. At some point while traveling on the shoulder, the passenger in the truck fell out of the passenger door and was fatally injured.”

According to deputies, the Dodge then came back onto the roadway facing northbound and then went off the right shoulder of the road, where it became stuck.

Alcohol and drug impairment are believed to be factors in the case, deputies said.

Serawop is being held without bail in the Uintah County Jail.

The name of the deceased 37-year-old passenger found entangled in the fence has not yet been released.


  1. Please don’t use the term “accident” in cases such as this, where someone is accused of homicide. Your careless language absolves the driver of any responsibility. Accident is the wrong term as it implies an incident that was not preventable. Please use the term crash, which doesn’t judge intent or inevitability.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here