A 50-year-old Saratoga Springs man with four prior DUI convictions was criminally charged Wednesday after police say he fatally struck a 13-year-old boy in a crosswalk on April 26 and then left the scene.
Mason Andrew Ohms has been charged with one count each of automobile homicide, leaving the scene of a fatal crash, obstructing justice, and failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, according to the charging document. The fact that he was intoxicated at the time of the crash is also noted in the charge.
At about 6 p.m., 13-year-old Eli Mitchell of West Jordan was riding his bike home from a nearby grocery store, traveling south on 1510 West, according to police. Just as he entered the crosswalk at 9000 South, where Ohms had been waiting at the red light to turn right, Ohms “accelerated hard” into the turn and struck Eli, the document states.
After the impact, Ohms kept driving down 9000 South — with Eli’s bike wedged in the underside of his truck — and never braked, according to witnesses and security camera footage.
He drove a short distance and then made a U-turn, witnesses said, driving past the scene where they were performing CPR on the injured boy and then turning onto 1510 West.
Just south of the stoplight, Ohms stopped, pulled Eli’s bike out from under his truck, threw it away behind a business, and then kept driving, the charging document states.
Eli was taken to a hospital, where he died.
Later that evening, police arrested Ohms at his home in Saratoga Springs. When officers said they wanted to speak to him about a hit-and-run, he said, “I felt a bump and did not know what it was,” according to the document.
By tracing the prior movements of Ohms’ truck, police determined he’d been at a bar in the hours before the crash. The bar’s security video showed that Ohms had drunk seven 20-ounce beers while he was there, ordering the last one about 40 minutes before police say he struck the boy. When he was taken into custody, his blood alcohol level was 0.10, which is twice Utah’s legal limit.
Ohms has four prior DUI convictions, for offenses in 1994, 1996, 1997 and 2002, according to court documents. In this case, the state has requested he be held without bail, the charging document states.
A GoFundMe campaign set up to help the Mitchell family had raised more than $60,000 as of Wednesday evening. According to the campaign, when Eli died, he’d been doing two of his favorite things: riding his bike and eating treats. He also liked to snowboard, play video games, ride ATVs and read, and “adults around him often had to look up words he used.” He was a student at West Jordan Middle School.