SALT LAKE CITY — A driver who witnesses say may not have been at fault when he allegedly hit a pedestrian is now facing charges for driving away from the scene.
According to witnesses, Daniel Vladimir Evans, 23, of Eagle Mountain, wasn't at fault when he allegedly hit a pedestrian. But he was allegedly scared and drove off, according to charging documents. Investigators say the man he hit was a pitcher for the University of Utah baseball team who required surgery on his hand.
Evans was charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with failing to stay at the scene of a serious accident, a third-degree felony, plus driving on a suspended license and not having insurance, class C misdemeanors.
On Nov. 30, Salt Lake police responded to an auto-pedestrian crash at 700 East and 600 South. One man described the pedestrian as a "drunk person" and another said he "stumbled and entered the crosswalk late" after his friends had already crossed, according to charging documents.
That's when police say the man was hit by a Mercedes. The driver pulled over for a minute, then took off again, the charges state. A witness, who was able to get a license plate number, told police that the Mercedes driver "without a doubt" would have known he hit something.
"The pedestrian flipped up in the air from the impact. (The witness) clarified it was dark and the driver may not have known what he hit, but he would have known he hit something," according to charging documents.
The pedestrian, who "admitted to having a couple of drinks," initially told police he was not seriously injured. But it was later discovered that he suffered a broken wrist and foot, and because he "is a pitcher for the University of Utah baseball team … (he) required surgery to his hand," the charges state.
When police tracked down Evans and interviewed him about a month later, he said he had a green light and then "noticed a figure" in the crosswalk at the last second and attempted to swerve out of the way, according to court documents.
"Evans was adamant that he missed the pedestrian," the charges state.1 comment on this story
Evans told police he pulled over to calm down because the incident scared him, before driving away. He also told police that he had since sold that car, claiming it was having mechanical issues that would cost too much to repair, according to charging documents. He also allegedly admitted his license was suspended and he did not have insurance, but that it "did not play a role in him leaving the scene."
Investigators were able to find the sold car and inspect it, and determined the damage to the vehicle was consistent with a "moderately low velocity collision with a pedestrian that was struck and then rolled off the hood," the charges state.