This is a nightmare scenario.
A Utah man is facing serious consequences after hitting two cars head-on with his Ram pickup, coming to a rest on top of one, trapping the woman inside for an hour on the night of August 24. The Ram driver blamed his errant vehicle on a drink he dropped as well as fatigue.
Per a report from Desert News, 22-year-old Santiago Jacob Hernandez is now facing a string of charges, including two third-degree felonies. He told police that while he was traveling northbound on Highland Drive near I-215 he dropped a drink and the can rolled under his brake pedal. After kicking it out from under the pedal, he bent down to pick it up off the floorboard.
He also reportedly said he was feeling drowsy before the accident, but right after picking up the drink he was hit with a wave of fatigue and “it was like lights out. I was conscious but my eyes shut.” Sounds perfectly normal, right?
Drowsy driving is dangerous, just like driving while intoxicated. Police did a blood draw, so it’s possible he was doing the latter, but we don’t know for sure. Either way, the guy should’ve called an Uber or a friend instead of driving because he clearly was in no condition to be behind the wheel.
There’s nothing in the report about the person in the first vehicle Hernandez hit head-on, so we’re assuming they’re okay. However, the 33-year-old woman in the Toyota Corolla he hit head-on and came to rest on top of was at first in critical condition after crews took an hour to extricate her. Thankfully, the hospital upgraded her to stable condition. We wonder if Hernandez realizes he almost earned yet another serious criminal charge had the woman died.
What’s more, Hernandez also has been accused of stealing a firearm and police found a gun in the truck, but it’s not clear if they’re the same. Apparently, Hernandez isn’t supposed to be in possession of any firearm, which if true could indicate a pattern of irresponsible behavior. This isn’t who we want to see behind the wheel of a 6,000 lbs.-plus vehicle.
Police also found a plastic bag with 14 blue pills bearing an “M30” mark. It doesn’t take a genius to guess what those might be, but police say they’re fentanyl in case you’re wondering.
Anyone who drives a large vehicle, be it a commercial rig or a heavy-duty pickup truck, needs to keep in mind their ride can be devastatingly deadly. Handling such a vehicle, just like handling a gun or anything else with destructive power, should be taken seriously instead of treated casually.
Image from Cottonwood Heights Police Department via Deseret News