Posted by Travis Uresk | Jan. 29th, 2023 | Automobile Homicide |
By Travis Uresk
Arcadia, Ut.- On 8/10/21, around 8:40 pm, law enforcement responded to a traffic crash that occurred at 12000 West 6000 South intersection in the Arcadia area. This crash involved two vehicles colliding at this intersection, and these vehicles started on fire.
The two-vehicle drivers were Justin Emerson Griffin and the deceased, initialed here as JL. JL was traveling southbound on 12000 West road. The posted speed limit was 55 mph. JL had the right of way. Justin was traveling westbound on 6000 South road that had stop signs where it intersected with 12000 West road.
Based on the evidence at the scene and how the vehicles were positioned post-collision, it appeared that Justin ran the stop sign and hit the vehicle JL was driving. JL's vehicle was found upside down as a result of this crash.
No passengers were found in these vehicles. This intersection was near Justin's home, giving the indication that Justin had previous knowledge the stop sign was there.
After this crash occurred, around an estimated minute later, nearby persons arrived. One of these persons assisted Justin in getting out of his vehicle. She reported seeing no passengers in Justin's vehicle, and Justin was found in the driver's seat. Persons on the scene, including Justin, found JL in his vehicle. JL was found unresponsive, no pulse was felt, and JL was assumed deceased.
They had to pull JL from his vehicle to prevent him from burning. JL was deceased. Around this time, persons on the scene realized that Justin had left the crash scene on foot. This was moments before law enforcement personnel arrived.
Law enforcement searched for Justin with no success. Justin was found later by neighboring persons in a field within walking distance of the crash site and Justin's residence.
Around 11:30 pm, law enforcement found Justin with his parents, who transported him to the Roosevelt hospital. Law enforcement personnel met Justin at the hospital and indicated he could smell alcohol coming from Justin.
Officer Mathews met with Justin there and saw blood on his face, arms, and clothing. Justin complained of pain.
Justin told the doctor he was the driver involved in a traffic accident and voluntarily submitted to a blood draw. Justin's blood was collected around 12:28 am. Justin's blood was sent to the state forensic toxicology lab. Justin's blood test results stated that his blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.02. Justin's blood was also positive for THC.
Justin also signed a medical records release form allowing Officer Mathews access to his medical records. It was later learned that Justin's medical records stated his toxicology results were positive for ethanol, THC, and opiates.
Justin declined to be questioned without an attorney present.
Justin needed further medical care that night and wasn't arrested.
Officer Mathews learned that Justin had spent time with a friend before the crash. This friend was interviewed and witnessed Justin drinking alcohol (Rum) while at his house before the crash. His friend estimated that Justin left his house around 7:30 pm but wasn't sure when.
His friend’s house is located around 20 minutes from Justin's home. His friend informed Officer Mathews that Justin told him he was going home. According to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), the average person's BAC drops by about 0.015 per hour.
Justin wasn't reportedly seen with any alcoholic beverage at the crash site and was in a rural area where he left on foot from the crash site. From the time the crash was reported to when Justin's blood was drawn was nearly 4 hours. Calculations indicate that Justin's BAC was around 0.08 at the time of the crash.
Justin was 20 years old at the time of this crash.