, Carbon County Jail
Luke W. Shroyer, 28, of Huntington, pleaded guilty Monday, June 18, 2012, in 7th District Court to automobile homicide, a third-degree felony, and failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving death, a class B misdemeanor.

PRICE — An Emery County man has admitted that he was driving drunk when he hit and killed a construction flagger last summer.

Luke W. Shroyer, 28, of Huntington, pleaded guilty Monday in 7th District Court to automobile homicide, a third-degree felony, and failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving death, a class B misdemeanor.

Shroyer admitted that he had consumed alcohol "to a point which rendered him incapable of safely operating" his pickup truck on Aug. 6 when he hit and killed Linda Potter as she worked in a construction zone about 1:30 a.m., according to court records filed as part of his guilty plea. 

Potter, 54, was carried about 250 feet after she was struck. She died at the scene.

Emery County sheriff's deputies caught up with Shroyer in Huntington, about 20 miles away from where the crash occurred. He told them he believed he'd hit a deer.

A trooper performed field sobriety tests, and a blood draw confirmed a 0.119 blood-alcohol level, according to the Utah Highway Patrol. The legal limit in Utah is .08.

Potter was the second Nielson Construction employee to be killed by an impaired driver in less than 48 hours.

On Aug. 4, Aaron Simms was also killed when Jamie Lynn Mercurio hit the 31-year-old while he was pulling weeds in front of the Nielson Construction offices in Wellington. 

Mercurio, 31, admitted in February that she was driving under the influence of methamphetamine when the crash happened. She was sentenced to serve one year in jail, placed on probation for three years and ordered to pay at $750 fine for her plea to automobile homicide, a third-degree felony.

Shroyer is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 13. He faces up to five years in prison for the felony charge and up to six months in jail for the misdemeanor.

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