Charges filed against man suspected of causing triple fatal accident near Wendover
WEST JORDAN — The man accused of causing a horrific accident on I-80 near Wendover on Friday that killed a mother and her two daughters told investigators he doesn't remember the crash at all.
Charges were filed late Monday against Paul Michael Mumford, 36, of West Jordan. Mumford was charged in 3rd District Court with three counts of murder, all first-degree felonies; or in the alternative manslaughter, all second-degree felonies; or in the alternative automobile homicide, all second-degree felonies. In addition, he was charged with DUI, a third-degree felony and reckless endangerment, a class-A misdemeanor.
Mumford was last reported to be in stable condition in a local hospital.
Utah Highway Patrol investigators believe Mumford was intoxicated and driving his pickup truck erratically on I-80 about 6:30 p.m. Friday. At one point, a motorist stopped Mumford to talk about his behavior, but he drove away, according to court records.
Mumford was observed by motorists tailgating other vehicles, coming to a complete stop in the slow lane and using the turnaround area typically reserved for emergency vehicles only, according to charging documents.
Later, Mumford did a U-turn and started driving east in the westbound lanes.
His pickup hit head-on with a 2007 Chevy Suburban carrying a family of four from Farmington who were headed to Nevada for a holiday weekend camping trip.
Delphine John, 44, and her daughters Delilah Ramirez, 20, and Anaya Adame Orozco, 3, were killed. Jose Fidel Adame-Orozco, 36, suffered a collapsed lung, two broken ribs and a broken leg.
Troopers believe each vehicle was traveling about 80 mph at the time of the crash. Neither showed signs of braking prior to impact.
At the hospital later, Mumford told UHP investigators that he had been gambling in Wendover, Nevada, for a couple of hours and had a few beers prior to getting in his truck, the charges state.
"Mr. Mumford stated that he left Wendover and must have fallen asleep. He did not remember anything about the accident, " according to the charges.
Mumford then asked the trooper if anyone had been hurt or died in the crash. When the investigator told him yes, he stopped answering his questions and asked for an attorney, the charges state.
A warrant for cash-only $400,000 bail was issued Monday for Mumford.
Mumford appeared to have been showing an increasing pattern of self-destruction in the weeks leading up to the accident.
On June 12, West Jordan police were called to break up a domestic violence-related incident involving Mumford and his wife. He tried hiding in the garage when police arrived, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report. The officers had to force entry into the garage, where they found an intoxicated Mumford hiding, the report stated.
The next day, Mumford's wife filed for a protective order, according to court records, and on July 1 filed for divorce.
Mumford was charged in West Jordan Justice Court on June 18 with seven misdemeanors, including assault, domestic violence and intoxication. He was scheduled to be arraigned in that case on Aug. 12.
In August 2013, Mumford pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct in West Jordan Justice Court and was placed on probation.
In 2005, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DUI in Murray Justice Court. He was placed on probation and ordered to have a interlock device installed in his vehicle, according to court records.
In 2000, Mumford pleaded guilty in 3rd District Court to battery, a class B misdemeanor, in exchange for a public intoxication charge being dropped.
The Utah Highway Patrol reported that the Fourth of July weekend resulted in troopers making more than 4,100 DUI arrests and investigating 126 crashes. Two of those crashes, including Friday's incident near Wendover, resulted in nine deaths.
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