HEBER CITY — A dump truck driver with a history of driving drunk had a blood alcohol level more than four times the legal limit when he allegedly killed six people in a horrific crash, according to newly unsealed court documents.
Jamie Don McKenzie, 41, of Heber City, is charged in Wasatch County's 4th District Court with six counts of automobile homicide, a second-degree felony, and two counts of DUI, a third-degree felony.
On Oct. 19, McKenzie was driving a large dump truck with a load of dirt on U.S. 40 when he crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a Dodge Ram pickup, crushing the pickup's cab as the larger truck came to rest atop the vehicle. Six people were killed either from being ejected from the Dodge Ram or crushed when the dump truck landed on top of them.
The dump truck also hit a Jeep Wrangler with two women inside, according to police. The impact from that crash caused the Jeep to run over the occupants of the Dodge that were ejected, and then the Jeep drove off the shoulder and rolled onto its roof, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in 4th District Court. The women suffered broken bones, but injuries that were not life-threatening, according to police.
According to the warrant, Utah Highway Patrol troopers investigating the crash served a search warrant to obtain blood at the hospital where McKenzie was taken. The blood was tested and was found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.379, or about 4 1/2 times the legal limit, the warrant states.
The next court hearing in the case is scheduled for Nov. 28.
According to court records, McKenzie has a history of being pulled over and ticketed for various traffic offenses, including being cited just four days before the fatal crash for following another vehicle too closely and causing an accident, according to court records.
On Oct. 9, McKenzie pleaded guilty to assault and intoxication in a domestic violence incident, according to court records. The plea was held in abeyance. A judge ordered McKenzie during sentencing to "complete an alcohol/substance abuse evaluation (and) comply with any recommended treatment," according to court records. He was also ordered to complete an anger management class.
According to a Wasatch County Jail booking report from that incident, the arresting officer noted that McKenzie "was extremely intoxicated, he had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, his balance was off and he smelled very strong of an alcoholic beverage."
On July 28, he was cited by a state Parks and Recreation officer in Wasatch County for having an open container in his vehicle, court records state.
In 2013, McKenzie pleaded no contest to impaired driving and having an open container in his vehicle, according to court records.
In 2012 he was charged with intoxication, but Heber City later declined prosecution and the case was dropped, court records state.10 comments on this story
In 2002, McKenzie took another plea in abeyance in another domestic violence related incident, court records state. A judge ordered him at that time to "continue in alcohol counseling," the report states.
In a separate case, he was charged in 2002 with seven counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. He pleaded guilty to two counts, both second-degree felonies, and was sentenced to 270 days in jail.
In 1998, McKenzie was convicted in one case of supplying alcohol to minors, in another of having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle, and a third case of having an open container, according to court records.