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Multiple charges likely for driver who triggered fatal crash in Draper

Police » Woman killed and her child critically injured in six-car crash.

First Published May 09 2014 12:07 pm • Last Updated May 09 2014 10:36 pm

The driver of a pickup truck involved in a fatal, multi-vehicle crash was arrested Friday afternoon on suspicion of vehicular homicide, drunken driving and a number of other charges as soon as he was released from the hospital, Draper police said.

Bill Robert Thompson, 44, of Draper, was driving the white pickup truck that allegedly ran a red light at the intersection of Lone Peak Parkway (160 West) and 12300 South on Thursday night, said Draper police Sgt. Chad Carpenter.

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Susan Madsen, 43, also of Draper, was killed in the accident, and Madsen’s child, Tessa, was critically injured.

"She has had a couple of surgeries and has a long road ahead of her," the family’s soccer club, Sparta United, reported on Facebook at noon Friday, "but she will be OK."

The soccer club also expressed grief at losing Madsen, "such a special, wonderful, gracious friend, mother, team manager, volunteer and wonderful person."

Draper Mayor Troy Walker’s wife knew Madsen, and called him in tears. He expressed his own condolences and sorrow, as well as those of the Draper City Council, to Madsen’s family and friends in a statement Friday.

"Susan gave so much to the Draper community. This is a truly a tragic loss," Walker said. "We ask community members to pray for Susan’s daughter, for her speedy recovery and for the family’s heartbreaking loss."

Four other people suffered minor injuries in the 6:30 p.m. Thursday six-vehicle chain reaction crash.

Thompson, initially listed in critical condition at the hospital, was upgraded to fair on Friday and released in the afternoon. He was booked at 2:48 p.m. into the Salt Lake County Jail.

Carpenter said Thompson had allegedly been involved in an argument with the mother of his children earlier Thursday, during which he purportedly assaulted the woman — identified as Thompson’s "wife or significant other" — while the children looked on.

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At 6:15 p.m., police responded to the domestic violence report, but Thompson had already left the home.

The traffic accident occurred 15 minutes later, at 6:30 p.m.

When officers arrived at the accident scene, they recognized the white pickup truck described to them by the domestic violence victim and realized Thompson was involved, according to Carpenter.

Witnesses told police that just prior to the six-car accident, Thompson had been speeding and had intentionally rammed another vehicle and left the scene of that crash before heading northbound on Lone Peak Parkway.

In addition to the vehicular homicide and DUI counts, Thompson likely will be booked into the Salt Lake County jail on suspicion of reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, aggravated assault and domestic violence in the presence of a child counts, Carpenter said.

Formal charges have not been filed.

In 2006, Thompson entered a guilty plea in abeyance to one count of class B misdemeanor simple assault, which involved domestic violence on a girlfriend, according to South Jordan Justice Court records.

In exchange for his plea, and as part of an apparent plea deal, five other misdemeanors were dismissed against Thompson, including criminal mischief, domestic violence in the presence of a child and threat against life/property.

In 1993, Thompson served 12 months of probation after pleading guilty to class A misdemeanor insurance fraud.

His court record also includes a number of citations for speeding and other traffic offenses.

Reporter Michael McFall contributed to this story.

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