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Tow truck driver on phone caused fatal crash, police say (UT) "Updated 08.14.21"


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ST. GEORGE — A tow truck driver was allegedly looking down at his cellphone when his vehicle was involved in a head-on crash that killed an elderly woman.

 

Timothy Grover Mace, 48, of St. George, was arrested Thursday. He was formally charged Friday in 5th District Court with automobile homicide, a third-degree felony; and three traffic infractions including driving too fast for conditions, not wearing a seat belt and crossing the center line.

 

On March 23 about 11:20 a.m., Mace was driving his tow truck when it collided head-on with another vehicle at 3655 S. Pioneer Road, according to a police affidavit. The elderly woman who was driving the car was trapped inside her vehicle.

 

“The elderly female was ultimately extricated from her vehicle and transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center where she was later pronounced deceased,” according to the affidavit.

 

When interviewed by police, Mace said he was on his way to repossess a vehicle.

 

“Timothy contended he had looked in his mirror and when he glanced back, a passenger car came out of nowhere. Officers specifically questioned Timothy if he was using GPS or cellphone at the time of the accident and he emphatically said no. He also confirmed it was raining at the time of the accident,” the affidavit states.

 

Officers from the St. George Police Department Accident Reconstruction Team, however, determined that Mace’s truck had gone into oncoming traffic before hitting the elderly woman’s car, according to the affidavit. He was also determined to have been going 49 mph in a 35 mph zone, police stated.

 

Detectives then learned from the owner of the tow truck that surveillance cameras were installed inside the cab of the truck.

 

“The video clearly showed Timothy looked down at a cellphone he was holding in his right hand when the tow truck crossed completely into the northbound lane of travel and hit the passenger car head-on,” according to the affidavit.

The name of the deceased woman was not immediately available.

 

Mace’s criminal history mostly includes a long list of traffic-related offenses, according to court records.

 

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