LOGAN — A 46-year-old Tremonton man has pleaded guilty to causing a head-on collision in Logan Canyon that critically injured four Clearfield-area teenagers last summer. Dustin W. Andersen accepted a plea deal that could send him to prison for more than five years.
Andersen participated in a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Monday afternoon, appearing by web conference. He pleaded guilty to four counts of driving under the influence, two third-degree felonies and two class-A misdemeanors.
In exchange for Andersen’s guilty plea, prosecutors dropped a remaining DUI charge.
On the night of July 30, Andersen was driving a Dodge truck northeast through Logan Canyon, US-89, around 8:30 p.m. Near milepost 468, the truck began to skid and lose control, veering into oncoming traffic and colliding head-on with a Kia.
The car that was travelling southwest, had four teenage occupants inside. Each of them were transported to the hospital in serious and critical conditions. One of the passengers in the backseat of the car, Sarah Frei, spent two and a half weeks in the ICU and went through 20 surgeries, including a double leg amputation.
Utah Highway Patrol troopers report Andersen was heavily intoxicated and speeding. He had a blood alcohol level of 0.229 after the crash. Tire marks from his truck were estimated to be over 250 feet in length, showing he was traveling above the 50 miles per hour speed limit.
During Monday’s hearing, Judge Brandon Maynard scheduled sentencing for April 26. He said he would also consider a request from prosecutors to allow in-person testimony from the victims at that hearing.
Andersen was booked into the Cache County Jail after the crash. He was released hours later on bail after posting $17,245 bond, angering the victim’s families, who wanted him to remain incarcerated. They later appealed to Utah’s legislature, asking for help.
Today, I was joined on the dais by Sarah Frei, who tragically lost her legs after being hit by a drunk driver. Sarah's cheerful and optimistic outlook are inspiring. I am proud to cosponsor H.B. 47, nicknamed "Sarah's Bill," which will create stricter bail terms for DUI offenses. pic.twitter.com/QfIGts393W
— Speaker Brad Wilson (@BradWilsonGOP) February 9, 2021
On February 9, Frei and her family joined Utah senators at the state capitol as they approved House Bill 47 — also known as “Sarah’s bill”. The legislation would require individuals charged with certain DUI offenses to stay in jail before their trial if death or serious injuries result and releasing the individual would pose a danger to the community. It is now awaiting Gov. Spencer Cox’s approval.