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Utah Highway Patrol
Darin Hawkinson, 47, of East Carbon, Carbon County, is charged in 7th District Court with two counts of automobile homicide in connection with a Sept. 23, 2011, crash that killed two people and critically injured two others. Troopers say Hawkinson was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs when he touched off a chain reaction crash on state Route 6.

PRICE — An East Carbon man has pleaded guilty to reduced charges in the deaths of two sisters from Sandy.

Darin Scott Hawkinson pleaded guilty in 7th District Court to two counts of automobile homicide, according to court records. 

The charges were reduced from second-degree felonies to third-degree felonies in exchange for Hawkinson's plea. A speeding charge was also dismissed.

Hawkinson, 47, was driving 81 mph on Sept. 23 when he drifted off state Route 6 east of Wellington and then swerved back into the path of an oncoming tractor-trailer truck, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.

The truck hit Hawkinson's Chevy Cavalier, splitting the car in two. The Cavalier was struck a second time by an oncoming Hyundai Santa Fe.

Sandy residents Sharlene Atkinson, 64, and Lynnette Hulse, 63 — both passengers in the Santa Fe — were killed in the collision. Two other occupants in the Hyundai — driver Steven Dee Hulse, 64, and passenger William Atkinson Jr., 65 — were each critically injured.

Hawkinson also sustained critical injuries. The driver of the semitrailer was not injured.

Hawkinson was driving under the influence of illegal drugs at the time of the crash, according to Carbon County prosecutor Jeremiah Humes. He has a prior conviction for impaired driving, court records show.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 13. Hawkinson faces up to five years in prison and a possible fine of $5,000 for each felony count.

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