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UHP: Suspected DUI driver wrecked stolen car in near-fatal crash

Published: Wednesday, March 12 2014 12:10 p.m. MDT

Utah Highway Patrol troopers say Jacob Drew Perkins, 23, of Duchesne, stole this 1999 Buick Park Avenue and then crashed head-on into a pickup truck, Saturday, March 8, 2014, on U.S. 40 west of Duchesne, nearly killing the driver of the truck. Perkins was driving under the influence at the time of the crash, troopers said. (Utah Highway Patrol) Utah Highway Patrol troopers say Jacob Drew Perkins, 23, of Duchesne, stole this 1999 Buick Park Avenue and then crashed head-on into a pickup truck, Saturday, March 8, 2014, on U.S. 40 west of Duchesne, nearly killing the driver of the truck. Perkins was driving under the influence at the time of the crash, troopers said. (Utah Highway Patrol)

DUCHESNE — A drunken driver in a stolen car slammed head-on into a pickup truck over the weekend, nearly killing the other driver, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.

Jacob Drew Perkins, 21, of Duchesne, was at the wheel of a stolen Buick Park Avenue when he crossed the center line on U.S. 40 west of Duchesne about 10:15 p.m. Saturday and caused the crash, UHP Lt. Jeff Chugg said.

The first people to reach the crash initially believed the driver of the pickup truck, 69-year-old Robert Lee Crowley of Roosevelt, was dead.

"At first, he wasn't breathing," the lieutenant said. "Then he suddenly started breathing again."

Troopers were still responding to the crash when they received word that the car Perkins was driving had been taken without permission from a friend's house in Duchesne.

Utah Highway Patrol troopers say Jacob Drew Perkins, 23, of Duchesne, stole this 1999 Buick Park Avenue and then crashed head-on into a pickup truck, Saturday, March 8, 2014, on U.S. 40 west of Duchesne, nearly killing the driver of the truck. Perkins was driving under the influence at the time of the crash, troopers said. (Utah Highway Patrol) Utah Highway Patrol troopers say Jacob Drew Perkins, 23, of Duchesne, stole this 1999 Buick Park Avenue and then crashed head-on into a pickup truck, Saturday, March 8, 2014, on U.S. 40 west of Duchesne, nearly killing the driver of the truck. Perkins was driving under the influence at the time of the crash, troopers said. (Utah Highway Patrol)

"(The friend) called dispatch seven minutes after the crash was reported to report that the car had been stolen," Chugg said.

Perkins and Crowley both had to be extricated by firefighters. They were taken to Uintah Basin Medical Center in Roosevelt and later transferred to a hospital in the Salt Lake area for more specialized treatment.

Crowley's wife, 67-year-old Gayle Marie Crowley, was a passenger in the truck. She was also taken to the hospital in Roosevelt as a precaution, Chugg said.

Troopers say they have witness statements and evidence that shows Perkins was driving under the influence at the time of the crash. The case has been forward to the Duchesne County Attorney's Office for review.

Email: gliesik@deseretnews.com, Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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