21-year-old West Valley City man charged in fatal hit-and-run

Jose Julian Flores later called investigators and turned himself in, according to court documents.

(West Valley City Police Department) Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run.

A 21-year-old West Valley City man was charged Friday in a hit-and-run crash that killed another man earlier this week.

Jose Julian Flores allegedly fled to Oregon after he fatally struck Joel Lewis, 39, on Monday evening near 7200 West and 3245 South, court documents state. He faces a third-degree felony count of failure to remain at an accident involving death and a misdemeanor count of obstruction of justice.

West Valley City investigators received a tip on Wednesday from a concerned citizen reporting Flores’ damaged truck, which Flores claimed to be from his girlfriend hitting a deer, court documents state.

The citizen told police that Flores became upset when he took photos of the damage. He later “realized something was wrong” when he heard about the fatal crash in the news, and Flores’ 2001 Chevrolet Silverado matched investigators’ vehicle description.

When the citizen contacted Flores, Flores allegedly stated his girlfriend had been driving the truck that night and not him. Flores also told the man that when his girlfriend dropped the truck off that night at a West Valley residence, someone had vandalized it even more, which raised the man’s suspicions.

The man called a mutual friend to see if he knew anything about the truck, and the friend allegedly told him that Flores and his girlfriend were trying to get to Mexico.

On Thursday, Flores called a West Valley City detective and stated he wanted to turn himself in for what he had done. Court documents state Flores told the investigator he’d been driving his girlfriend’s truck that night and “saw Lewis’ face on the windshield when the accident happened,” but fled because he was scared.

Flores was booked into the Salt lake County Jail on Saturday, according to West Valley City Police.