Man charged with felony in Taylorsville crash that killed toddler; police say he had morphine in his system

(Dan Harrie | The Salt Lake Tribune) Emergency crews respond to a car crash near 5095 South 3200 W. in Taylorsville, Tuesday, July 28, 2020. At right is a baby stroller that was reportedly carrying two young girls and was being pushed down the sidewalk by the mother when a car was rear-ended and pushed into the pedestrians.

A Taylorsville resident was charged Tuesday with a felony in a July fatal crash that resulted in the death of a 2-year-old girl.

Michael Conder was charged with driving with a controlled substance in the body and causing serious bodily injury or death, a second-degree felony, in the crash on 3200 West near 5000 South in Salt Lake County. Conder was also charged with a misdemeanor for careless driving and an infraction for following the car in front of him too closely.

The car in front of Conder, a Dodge Stratus, had stopped to avoid hitting a small dog in the road, according to charging documents. Conder’s car crashed into the Stratus, causing that car to go onto the sidewalk, where a woman was walking her twin 2-year-old daughters in a stroller, police said at the time. The car hit the mother and her children and pushed them up against a cinder block wall next to the sidewalk. All three were injured. One of the children died from her injuries.

Conder told police he glanced at his phone “for a split second” and when he looked up the car in front of him had stopped in the middle of the road. After the crash, Conder pulled off the road and went back to try and help the people who had been hit.

Blood analysis showed that Conder had morphine in his system even though he did not have a medical prescription for the drug, according to the charging documents.