WASHINGTON CITY, Utah — A woman accused of fatally crashing her car into two cyclists and then driving away claimed her irritable bowel syndrome caused the crash, arresting documents state.
The incident happened Saturday in Washington City.
According to the police affidavit, the cyclists were brothers from California who were in Washington City competing in a race. An individual who saw the crash happen said the two were riding in the area of Coral Canyon Boulevard and Telegraph Street just before noon when a Hyundai Genesis swerved into the bike lane and hit them.
Witnesses attempted life-saving measures at the scene, but the cyclists were unresponsive, police said. The two were transported to St. George Regional Hospital where they both died from their injuries.
The brothers’ identities have not been made public.
Police made contact with the suspect, Julie Ann Budge, 47, who told officers that she was taking multiple medications for several various medical issues, one of which was irritable bowel syndrome. The IBS has been causing her to “defecate on herself without warning,” she reported told police.
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According to the probable cause statement, Budge told officers she was driving from her home in Hurricane when she “began to uncontrollably defecate on herself while driving, so she swerved,” the arresting officer reported.
She reportedly told police she knew she hit the two individuals, but she couldn’t get her car to stop.
“A witness at the scene of the accident stated that it appeared that Julie did not have the intention of stopping after hitting the two cyclists,” the arresting officer wrote. “The witness stated he followed Julie’s vehicle until she pulled over and stopped several hundred yards away from the accident.”
She had allegedly been admitted to the hospital the previous day and had been taking Fentanyl through an IV drip, she told police.
Arresting documents state that Budge failed all field sobriety tests.
“At this time, I placed Julie under arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence,” according to the arresting officer’s report.
Budge was transported to the hospital, where a warrant was issued for a blood draw.
The affidavit states she had been convicted for DUI in 2015.
Budge was arrested on suspicion of two counts of automobile homicide due to criminal negligence, both second-degree felonies; two counts of failure to remain at an accident involving death, both third-degree felonies; and two counts of DUI with serious bodily injury by negligent operation, both third-degree felonies. She is also facing a class B misdemeanor charge of reckless driving and an infraction for improper lane travel.
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