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Draper man sped up to run red light in fatal crash, charges state
First Published May 19 2014 09:52 pm • Last Updated May 19 2014 10:03 pm

A Draper man deliberately floored the gas of his pickup truck right before slamming into a family’s vehicle in a fatal crash this month, police wrote in murder charges filed Monday.

Bill Robert Thompson, 44, was drinking when he got in an argument with two women who were at his house on May 8, police wrote. Thompson allegedly punched one of the women multiple times and then punched a neighbor who tried to intervene, police wrote. Thompson then sped away in his pickup truck. He had been drunk for a couple of days, one of the women told police.

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A 16-year-old girl driving a Mini Cooper on Interstate 15 a few minutes later saw Thompson drive his truck past her in the emergency lane. The Mini Cooper and the pickup both exited I-15 at Bangerter Highway and drove north on Pony Express Road, which is a dead end, police wrote. The girl stopped the Mini Cooper to let the pickup make a U-turn; instead, Thompson rammed the driver’s side door, laughed and sped away. police wrote.

Moments later, an officer at 12300 S. Lone Peak Parkway and 12300 South saw Thompson speed through the intersection against a red light and crash into an SUV, killing the driver, 43-year-old Susan Madsen, and critically injuring her daughter, Tessa. The wreck caused a series of subsequent crashes, leaving seven other motorists with minor injuries.

Thompson was found, with bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, in the pickup truck, police wrote. He smelled of alcohol.

Investigators reconstructed the crash and found Thompson was driving about 60 mph in a 30 mph zone, police wrote. They found he was at least 175 feet from the intersection when he floored the gas despite facing a red light.

"If Thompson had chosen to apply the brakes at that time, instead of the gas pedal, he would have entered the intersection below 10 mph," police wrote.

Thompson was charged with first-degree felony murder; driving under the influence of alcohol and two counts of aggravated assault, third-degree felonies; seven misdemeanor DUI counts; and two counts each of assault and domestic violence in the presence of a child, all misdemeanors.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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