A Utah man has been charged with causing the death of a 22-month old girl — and seriously injuring her twin sister and her mother — while driving under the influence of drugs.
Michael Brandon Conder, 43, of Taylorsville was charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with driving under the influence and causing death, a second-degree felony; careless driving, a class C misdemeanor; and following too close, an infraction.
On July 28, Heather Marroquin was pushing her twin daughters in a stroller on a sidewalk on the east side of 3200 West at 5095 South in Taylorsville. According to police, a small dog ran into the road and a car stopped to avoid hitting it. A truck driven by Conder rear-ended the car, pushing it across the parking strip and onto the sidewalk, where it struck Marroquin and her twin daughters and pushed them into a cinder block wall next to the sidewalk.
Hadley Marroquin, 22 months, was killed. Her twin sister, Bethany, and Heather Marroquin were both hospitalized with serious injuries.
According to charging documents, Conder told police he glanced at his cellphone “for a split second,” and when he looked back up it was too late to avoid striking the stopped car. He pulled off the side of the road and rendered first aid to the victims.
Conder consented to a blood draw, and tests showed he had morphine in his system. According to police, Conder did not have an “active” painkiller prescription at the time of the collision.
Data from Conder’s pickup truck showed he was traveling approximately 36 mph when he collided with the car, and that he didn’t brake until between 1 and 1.2 seconds later. According to police, a review of surveillance video showed that Conder’s truck was less than 2 seconds behind the car it struck.