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Drunken driver pleads guilty in crash that killed a Cottonwood football coach

Published October 5, 2012 7:19 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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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 has pleaded guilty to driving drunk and causing a crash that killed a Cottonwood High School football coach.

Blake Timothy Molder, 24, admitted this week in 3rd District Court to being under the influence of alcohol in June when he drove into the back of Michael Gallegos' car at a stop light on Bangerter Highway.

With Molder pleading guilty to the second-degree felony count of automobile homicide, prosecutors agreed to drop misdemeanor speeding and traffic charges.

According to court documents, Molder left a bar after having three beers and some tequila. Police said the man had also smoked marijuana earlier in the day.

Officials estimated Molder was driving a Chevrolet Blazer 95 mph in a 60-mph zone when he slammed into the back of Gallegos' car, which was stopped at a red light at 9800 South. There were no skid marks behind the crash site.

The 39-year-old Gallegos died at the scene.

Gallegos was the father of two young children. He worked at Highland High School in Salt Lake City, while serving as Cottonwood's offensive line coach.

Molder faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 3 by Judge Randall Skanchy.

afalk@sltrib.com

Twitter: @aaronfalk