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Sandy man charged with homicide in coach's death

Published July 4, 2012 9:40 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Sandy man was charged with automobile homicide after he allegedly drove his SUV into a car that was stopped at a South Jordan stoplight, causing the car to burst into flames and killing a Cottonwood High School football coach.

In charges filed Tuesday, police wrote that Blake Timothy Molder, 23, was driving a Chevrolet Blazer north on Bangerter Highway at about 3 a.m. on June 23, when he drove into the back of Michael Gallegos' car, which was stopped at a red light at 9800 South. The car caught fire, and witnesses were unable to help Gallegos, 39, an assistant football coach at Cottonwood High School. Gallegos died at the scene.

Investigators found no skid marks behind the crash site and determined Molder did not brake as he approached Gallegos. They estimated Molder's speed to be 95 mph; the speed limit in the area is 60 mph.

Molder said he had been driving from a bar, where he'd had three beers and a tequila; he also said he'd smoked marijuana earlier in the day, police wrote.

Molder was charged with second-degree felony automobile homicide, and red light violation and speeding, both misdemeanors.