Update: 19-year-old who died after head-on wrong-way crash on I-215 identified

Gwen Doner. Photo: Utah Highway Patrol/Utah DPS

MURRAY, Utah, April 22, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A woman who died after a head-on, wrong-way crash on Interstate 215 in Murray Monday night has been identified.

A GoFundMe page set up for Gwen Doner, 19, says: “Our beautiful Gwen was tragically taken from us after injuries sustained in a car crash. What was supposed to be a night out at dinner turned into her battle to overcome trauma sustained by a senseless criminal.

“At 19, Gwen had her entire life in front of her. She was enrolled in a massage and holistic program. Gwen’s greatest strength was helping and caring for others. Gwen’s final gift was to donate her organs to others. Gwen’s most beautiful trait was always willing to make sure the unseen were seen and those who couldn’t find their voice were heard. She leaves behind a devastated family and friends who continue to try and make sense of all of this.

“These funds will go to help the family financially and to keep her memory alive supporting other young adults trying to make a difference for others.”

Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Nick Street told Gephardt Daily the victim, who was driving a Ford Taurus, one of two vehicles hit by suspect Justin Wayne Robertson, was initially in critical condition. She was transported by AirMed after being extricated from her vehicle.

A probable cause statement from the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake County said Robertson, 35, was in the area of 6200 South on Monday night when he entered a parking lot, ramming a parked police vehicle head-on, the statement said. The subject then began to flee in his Chevy Avalanche pickup truck.

“Unified Police Department pursued until the subject entered I-215 at 6200 South wrong-way,” the statement said. “He was traveling westbound in eastbound lanes. Multiple calls came into dispatch as the subject traveled wrong-way. He reached the interchange from I-15 southbound to I-215 eastbound continuing to travel wrong-way.”

Two motorists were in the area, traveling correctly on the interchange, and Robertson collided with them, first impacting the Ford Taurus head on.

Besides the 19-year-old driver who later died, her passenger, a man, was transported by ground ambulance in serious condition, and a dog in the vehicle was taken by officers to an emergency veterinarian clinic.

Robertson then crashed head-on into a second vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee, and the victim sustained “some level of injury but was not transported,” the statement said.

“The subject exited his vehicle and attempted to flee on foot but was apprehended a short time later,” the statement said. “He said that he had seen the injured motorists.”

Robertson refused medical attention on scene but was transported to be evaluated at the hospital. He was displaying signs of impairment such as “physical indicators, statements, and abnormal behaviors,” the statement said.

“Once at the hospital the subject stated several times he was high and that he used meth 10 to 30 minutes prior to the crash,” the statement said. “He advised me that he had some meth in his front small pocket; a small bag of meth was seized.”

After being read his Miranda rights, the suspect agreed to answer questions but refused a blood test; a warrant was obtained to draw his blood.

“He stated he had planned the events of the night and had done them on purpose,” the statement added.

The suspect is facing charges of:

  • Two counts of failure to respond to officer’s signal to stop, a second-degree felony
  • Two counts of failure to remain at accident involving serious injury, a third-degree felony
  • Two counts of DUI with serious bodily injury by negligent operation, a third-degree felony
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, a class A misdemeanor
  • Failure to remain at an accident involving injury, a class A misdemeanor
  • Possession of a controlled substance, schedule I/II/analog, a class A misdemeanor
  • Failure to remain at an accident, damage only, a class B misdemeanor
  • Operating vehicle without insurance, a class C misdemeanor
  • Failure to register or expired vehicle registration, a class C misdemeanor
  • Drive on a suspended or revoked license, a class C misdemeanor
  • Wrong way on a one-way street, an infraction

Robertson was transported to Salt Lake County Jail, where he is being held without bail.

Justin Wayne Robertson Photo Courtesy Salt Lake County Jail


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