Arizona man charged with automobile homicide in fatal crash near Moab

Published: Wednesday, July 25 2012 12:01 p.m. MDT

Filemon "Phil" Montoya was killed April 21, 2012, when another driver hit his SUV head-on about 15 miles south of Moab on state Road 191. San Juan County prosecutors have charged the other driver, Erik H. Yazzie, 32, of Phoenix, Ariz., with automobile homicide in connection with the crash.

Utah Highway Patrol

Enlarge photo»

MONTICELLO — An Arizona man was drunk and driving a stolen car when he killed another driver in a head-on crash south of Moab in April, according San Juan County prosecutors.

Erik H. Yazzie, 32, of Phoenix, was charged earlier this month in 7th District Court with automobile homicide, a second-degree felony, DUI, a third-degree felony, theft by receiving stolen property, a class A misdemeanor, and improper lane travel, a class C misdemeanor.

Yazzie left a restaurant on April 21 without paying for his meal, stole a car and was "fleeing from Moab" when he slammed into a sport-utility vehicle about 15 miles south of town on state Route 191, according to charging documents.

The driver of the SUV, 57-year-old Filemon "Phil" Montoya of Sweetwater, Texas, was killed in the crash.

Yazzie was critically injured. Tests showed he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.21, nearly three times the legal limit in Utah of 0.08, the charges state.

Yazzie remained hospitalized in Salt Lake City Wednesday. Prosecutors have obtained a $15,000 warrant for his arrest, telling Judge Lyle Anderson in court papers that they fear Yazzie will flee the state when he's released from the hospital.

He faces up to 15 years in prison if he is convicted of automobile homicide.

Geoff Liesik Twitter: GeoffLiesik

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS