“Drunk” Truck Driver Receives Sentence For Crash That Killed 6 People
Salt Lake City, Utah – The dump truck driver who was legally drunk when he plowed into a pickup truck killing all 6 people inside along State Route 40 in Heber, Utah last year was sentenced on Wednesday to three consecutive prison terms of up to 15 years each.
Jamie McKenzie, 42, pleaded guilty to three felony counts of DUI automobile homicide stemming from the fatal accident on October 19, 2018.
Investigators said McKenzie was three times over the legal limit when the dump truck he was operating crossed over the median and collided with a Dodge Ram pickup truck.
Three of the passengers were ejected and all six were pronounced dead on the scene.
Authorities said they found opened containers of beer and liquor along with prescription medication inside McKenzie’s truck.
McKenzie told investigators he had been drinking the night before, but not on the day of the crash.
Sgt. Lawrence Hopper with the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) said of the crash, “In my 13-year career, this is probably the worst crash I’ve ever seen.”
Hopper said troopers had received multiple calls about the dump truck swerving and cutting off other vehicles in the minutes leading up to the tragic crash.
Making matters worse is, according to multiple reports, the warning signs were evident with McKenzie as he has a checkered driving record dating back as far as 1997 with 5 previous alcohol related offenses on his record.
He received a traffic citation six days before the crash for following too closely behind another car.
Two months prior, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of assault and intoxication.
He was charged with having an open container in his vehicle in July of 2018.
During his sentencing hearing McKenzie apologized for his actions.
“Words cannot express the shame and guilt I feel each day. If I could go back and take the place of any or all of them I would do it in a minute,” McKenzie said.