Man facing drugged driving charge after Ogden crash killed WSU employee in 2016

Wednesday , May 24, 2017 - 3:37 PM8 comments

MARK SHENEFELT, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — Weber County prosecutors have filed a felony charge against a 21-year-old West Haven man accused of having marijuana in his system at the time of a fatal crash June 2, 2016, on Harrison Boulevard.

Kyle Branden Yepez was charged Tuesday, May 23, with a third-degree felony count of negligently causing injury or death by driving with a measurable amount of a controlled substance in his blood. He was also charged with misdemeanor marijuana use, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving without insurance.

RELATED: Toxicology tests still holding up Ogden fatal crash investigation

RELATED: Weber State employee killed in Ogden crash remembered as a compassionate man

An Ogden Police Department report says Yepez was driving a 2008 Mustang south at 60 to 80 mph in a 40 mph zone near 3550 S. Harrison Blvd. The car went out of control and crashed into a northbound 2008 Toyota Prius driven by Jay Jex, 29, of Ogden.

Jex died, and Yepez suffered superficial injuries.

Marijuana and paraphernalia were found among Yepez’s property after the crash, a probable cause statement filed in his case says. He said he hadn’t consumed any marijuana, the court record says, but test results showed it was in his system.

The investigation has been stalled for 10 months while police awaited toxicology test results on Yepez’s blood from the state crime lab, which has a lengthy backlog. In April, Ogden police referred the case to the Weber County County Attorney’s Office for screening of criminal charges.

As of Wednesday, Yepez had not been arrested. Prosecutors filed a proposed arrest warrant, which had not yet been signed by a judge.

Story continues below photo.

Yepez has drawn the attention of local authorities twice since the fatal crash on Harrison.

The Riverdale Justice Court has a warrant out for Yepez’s arrest because he failed to appear in court in April for a sentencing review. On Feb. 23, 2017, Judge Reuben Renstrom sentenced Yepez to a suspended 180-day jail term, fined him $1,360 and placed him on one year’s probation after the man pleaded no contest to misdemeanor counts of marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession. 

On April 17 this year, Yepez was pulled over by Ogden police and charged two days later with driving on a suspended license, no insurance and expired registration.

Yepez had several previous driving cases, including a misdemeanor reckless driving conviction in Plain City in 2014.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at mshenefelt@standard.net or 801 625-4224. Follow him on Twitter at @mshenefelt and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SEmarkshenefelt.

Sign up for e-mail news updates.

×