Man charged with murder in connection with crash that killed Utah bakery co-founder

Thy Hoang Vu had helped launch Mims SLC with her husband.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Thy Hoang Vu, left, and husband, Tripp Mims, are photographed in January. Police said Vu was killed in a car crash on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021.

The man who was arrested on suspicion of driving drunk while evading police and of causing a fatal crash on Salt Lake City’s west side in October has been charged with murder.

Christian Cody Facer, 39, was charged in 3rd District Court on Wednesday in connection with the death of Thy Hoang Vu, a mother of two and a co-founder of Mims SLC, a local bakery.

Facer was charged with murder, a first-degree felony, according to the charging document, and a second-degree felony count of failure to respond to an officer’s signal to stop, resulting in injury or death. Prosecutors also filed two third-degree felony counts of driving under the influence against him, partly because he had two or more prior convictions in the past 10 years.

He also is charged with misdemeanor counts of reckless driving, failing to stop, having an open container in his vehicle and operating it without an ignition interlock system he was required to have. He also faces infractions for speeding and running multiple red lights and stop signs.

Facer was also previously charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in September, following a reckless driving call. At the time, he had a blood alcohol level of 0.24%, documents show, almost five times Utah’s legal limit. Investigators found an open container of vodka in his vehicle, records state.

On Oct. 16 before the crash, North Salt Lake police received an initial report around noon of two men passing a bottle of whiskey back and forth as one of them drove a Ford F-250, “weaving in and out of traffic” and “running people off the road,” according to a Salt Lake City Police Department detective’s probable cause statement. The driver was later identified as Facer. Officers located the truck on U.S. Route 89 and started a pursuit.

Facer then drove onto Interstate 15, at times surpassing speeds of 100 mph, then exited into the Salt Lake City area as he attempted to evade police, the statement alleges. When Facer allegedly “T-boned” Vu’s vehicle near 500 North and 1200 West in the Fairpark neighborhood, he was driving about 70 mph, the document states.

Vu died of her injuries at the scene, and her passenger, a close friend of hers, was critically injured. A dog riding in Vu’s car was killed in the crash, and Facer also is charged with aggravated cruelty to an animal, a class B misdemeanor.

The passenger in Facer’s vehicle allegedly told detectives that he and Facer had been drinking alcohol since 6 a.m. that day. Officers also found partially empty bottles of alcohol inside Facer’s vehicle, the document states.

Vu had started Mims SLC with her husband, Tripp Mims, during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her death prompted an outpouring of social media posts from friends and residents. A silent auction held to benefit Mims and the couple’s two sons raised over $37,000, according to a post on the Instagram account @livelikethy.

A Salt Lake County team assigned to incidents that involve actions by police officers is investigating the crash, along with a crash analysis teamthat includes Salt Lake City police and several other Salt Lake Valley law enforcement agencies, according to SLCPD.com. No Salt Lake City police officers were involved in the pursuit, the department said.