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Bad brakes contribute to crash that killed two women

Published: Wednesday, May 9 2012 7:25 p.m. MDT

WEST VALLEY CITY — A West Valley City man is charged with misdemeanor drug possession and driving an unsafe vehicle in connection with a fatal car crash that killed two women in March.

Andrea Fuguel and Erica Warneke were struck by a Toyota truck at 3360 Redwood Road while they were crossing the street on March 4. According to charges filed Wednesday in 3rd District Court, Michael Sleeter, 46, was driving the vehicle that apparently had faulty brakes.

Witnesses said no brake lights came on prior to the crash, and the vehicle left the scene following the collision, turning onto 3300 South before stopping. Sleeter then returned to the site of the crash, charges state.

West Valley City Police searched Sleeter's vehicle and said they discovered a broken glass pipe and a powdery substance. According to court documents, Sleeter consented to a blood and urine test, but diluted the urine sample, preventing it from being used. Sleeter allegedly told an officer he was "afraid marijuana would be in his system because he was around friends who were smoking."

A second blood sample showed a positive result for methamphetamine, charges state.

Officers inspecting Sleeter's vehicle said the front wheels had new brake pads, but they were not working. They also discovered the automatic adjuster for the left rear wheel drum brake was attached improperly, the brake fluid reservoir was below the fill mark and two brake lines were leaking.

Sleeter was charged with obstructing justice, a class A misdemeanor; driving with measurable controlled substance in the body, a class B misdemeanor; possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor; and operation of unsafe or improperly equipped vehicles, a class C misdemeanor.

Hunter Schwarz

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