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Utah mother charged in wrong-way crash that killed one daughter, critically injured another

The woman is suspected of DUI in the head-on crash on Interstate 70.

(Utah Department of Public Safety) A black Cadillac Escalade is photographed after crashing off of Interstate 70 in Sevier County on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.

A 33-year-old woman suspected of DUI faces a criminal homicide charge after a wrong-way crash on Interstate 70 left one of her daughters dead and another injured, authorities said.

At the time of the Sunday wreck, the mother was “extremely intoxicated,” according to a statement from the Utah Department of Public Safety.

Cami Jean Aparicio was charged Tuesday with one count of vehicular homicide, two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol, two counts of reckless endangerment and one count of child abuse, court documents show. She also faces a charge of operating a vehicle as an alcohol-restricted driver.

Around 2 a.m. on Sunday, the Utah Highway Patrol received a call about someone driving east in the westbound lanes of I-70 in Sevier County, probable cause documents state. A few minutes later, troopers were notified of a fatal head-on crash involving a 2012 Cadillac Escalade and a semitruck.

When troopers arrived at the scene, they found Aparicio in her seat, with minor injuries. Troopers found her 12-year-old daughter dead at the rear of the Escalade, and they found her 9-year-old daughter in critical condition about 30 yards away from the SUV, documents state. The younger girl was flown to Primary Children’s Hospital.

According to DPS, the Escalade hit the right front of the semitruck, then side-swiped it, dislodging the rear axles. The SUV was then thrown off the interstate. The two children were ejected from the Escalade even though both were wearing seatbelts, DPS stated.

The male and female team who had been driving the semitruck told police that they tried to swerve just before the crash.

On Tuesday, Sgt. Cameron Roden, a spokesperson for Utah Highway Patrol, said the 9-year-old girl was “stable,” but did not have an update on her condition.

According to the probable cause statement, Aparicio’s speech was slurred and she smelled strongly of alcohol. Troopers found an open box of hard seltzer in the Escalade.

When another trooper questioned Aparicio in the hospital, she told him she was traveling from St. George to Ogden. Documents show that when the trooper asked why she was in Richfield — which is off I-70 — if she was traveling to Ogden — which is off I-15 — she said she couldn’t remember.

When he asked her if she had been drinking, she said she couldn’t remember.

Court records show that Aparicio was convicted of impaired driving in June. In that case, documents state her blood alcohol level had been 0.053, just over the legal limit of 0.05.

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