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Car crash starts grass fire in Centerville; driver arrested

By Mark Shenefelt - | Aug 10, 2022

Photo supplied, Centerville Police Department

A car narrowly missed two Centerville homeowners on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, and crashed onto a hillside, igniting a grass fire. The driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI and inhaling psychotoxic chemicals. The fire was quickly put out.

CENTERVILLE — A car veered off a Centerville street Tuesday afternoon and narrowly missed two people unloading groceries, then crashed on a hillside, igniting a grass fire, police said.

Benjamin Young Wight, 46, was arrested on suspicion of DUI, abuse of psychotoxic chemicals, reckless driving and attempting to leave an accident scene, the Centerville Police Department said in a news release.

Emergency personnel were alerted at 4:42 p.m. to the crash and fire in the 300 east block of 1825 North and found a silver Acura about 20 feet off the road, fire burning in the brush around it. Police and residents put out the fire before it could extend up the mountainside.

An investigation found that the eastbound car swerved to the left and onto a sidewalk, just as people were unloading groceries. The car drove through the groceries, and the residents told police they thought Wight intentionally drove toward them. The news release said that aspect of the case remains under investigation.

The car then smashed a mailbox, sideswiped a parked truck, crossed the street and crashed through an electrical box into the hillside. Wight allegedly tried to drive away but the car was stuck, police said.

Wight allegedly admitted to officers that he stole a can of compressed air from a store and inhaled the substance just before the incident. Wight was booked into the Davis County Jail in Farmington.

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