PROVO — A 23-year-old man accused of driving while high on heroin and striking a college student as she walked to a bus stop pleaded guilty to DUI Monday.
Justin Hicken pleaded guilty in 4th District Court to possession of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a third-degree felony. In exchange for the man's plea, the possession of a controlled substance charge was amended from a second-degree felony and a possession of drug paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor, charge was dismissed.
He will be sentenced March 21.
Police say Hicken, of Spanish Fork, crossed three lanes of traffic near a busy Springville intersection and hit Catherine Joy Smith-Warner while she was walking to a bus stop Aug. 25. A Utah Valley University dance major, Smith-Warner suffered severe injuries, including a broken tibia and shattered knee.
Smith-Warner was on her way to her first day of classes for her final semester at UVU. That day also would have been her first teaching ballet at a Springville dance studio.
Hicken was in custody, but had his bail reduced at a previous hearing on the condition that he enter the Steps Recovery Program.
Following the accident, the man consented to a drug test and tested positive for heroin. Hicken had been in court the day before the crash on a previous charge of driving under the influence of drugs.