Child in Taylorsville fatal crash identified, man faces charges

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TAYLORSVILLE -- Police have identified a 3-year-old child who was killed in a car accident in Taylorsville Saturday night.

Zane Thurber, of Murray, was killed after a Dodge Ram crashed into the back of the Subaru Legacy he was riding in.

The driver of the Subaru was transported in serious condition to Intermountain Medical Center. Police said the driver's condition has since been changed to fair. Another child, age 6, was also in the vehicle and was taken to IMC and later to Primary Children’s Hospital in fair condition.

Manuel de Jesus Guinea, 55, of Kearns, was booked in the Salt Lake County Jail on charges of automobile homicide and driving under the influence.

The five-car chain reaction accident occurred at the intersection of 5400 S. 1300 West. Guinea was driving west on 5400 South approaching the intersection just before the collision, Unified Police said. Witnesses told police he was driving at a high rate of speed and was driving reckless.

One witness told police she observed the vehicle swerving across lane lines and doing about 70 mph.  Lt. Justin Hoyal of the Unified Police Department said several others observed the vehicle.

“The individual had been driving recklessly west bound on 5400 South, and there were actually citizens in the process of calling 911 to report that reckless driving,” he said.

After the crash, Guinea attempted to blend in with the witnesses that stopped to help, police said. According to a statement of probable cause from the Unified Police Department, a man noticed Guinea leaving the vehicle.

"After the crash, he got out of the car and tried to blend in with the crowd that was around helping," Hoyal said. "A citizen grabbed onto him and held him until officers arrived and took him into custody.”

The witness, "stated the driver smelled like a 'bar'" when police took custody of the suspect, according to the probable cause statement.

According to the same document, an officer said Guinea was too impaired to give his name when questioned, had the smell of an alcoholic beverage on him and had vomited on himself. He was identified after the officer found a Utah driving privilege card on Guinea's person.

“This is one of those tragedies that happens and why we constantly instill the message of not drinking and driving," Hoyal said.

A fundraising effort has been put together on behalf of the Thurber family.

18 comments

  • Anjali Poleki

    Aww im sorry for your loss…he should be in jail for lifetime…one of nephew was in the other car that got in to this same accident..thank God that none of my brother was in the car with his kids or this guy will be killed.from.my brother instead of the accident…cant imagine what this family.went through…our prayers are with this family…

  • Larry

    First of all, my thoughts are with the family in their time of loss. But I did not see anywhere in the report that Manuel de Jesus Guinea was an illegal alien. So the remarks that Briney said of “send him back to where he belongs” and Lee of “another child murdered by an illegal alien” are just uncalled for. Don’t get me wrong, there is no excuse for drinking and driving and he should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Regardless of his citizen status. Would this incident be better if he were a white driver? No, so don’t go labeling people based on their name or race.

    • Ren

      I’m glad someone can show some common sense. I also do not condone this kind of behavior and he should expect to pay for his actions, but taking a group of people and blame them all for the actions of one will neither solve the problem (as undocumented people aren’t the only ones who drink and drive), bring the child alive, or help the family; bringing more hate into a situation that is already bad never helps just divides people. My thoughts are with the families, and I hope people take incidents such as this to take better decisions so that things like this stop happening.

  • anjie

    Very sad stuff my hearts hurts for the family it hits home but I wonder if since he isa guy he will get time unlike the girl who hit my son I pray for this family

    • Nicole

      Angie, my heart breaks for you and my soul is burning with rage for the pure unjust and disgraceful result of your tragic loss. Please know you have people and Angels behind you, supporting you and are willing to fight. You are not and will never be alone. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. My deepest regards and sincerest apologies for our system letting you down. The next judge will not be as forgiving.

  • Nicole

    We have a very fair and just legal system,especially here in UT! I’m sure hell receive the proper punishment fit for his crime! read some of the other news reports. It will instill your faith in our system. GOD BLESS AMERICA

  • Tedderbear

    Send him back to MEXICO so he can’t kill any more precious little children…..I lost my sister at the age of 24 to a drunk driver…..she left 3 beautiful babies behind…

  • Larry

    Sorry, but the comment by Tedderbear is just totally ignorant. If you read the previous comment by Lee, this individual is a citizen of El Salvador not Mexico. And really?? Is the answer to send him to MEXICO?? Will this prevent him from killing any more little children? So just a question, if the drunk driver was a white person, where should we send him/her? Back to England? People just need to grow up and realize that stupidity and ignorance comes in all genders and races. My wife was in an accident last year because a drunk driver decided to run a red light. She is white as well as the drunk driver. Where should he get deported to? Because of our justice system, he got what he deserved. Regardless of ethnicity, this tragic accident should not have happened and a life of an innocent child was taken. I pray for the family and trust that justice will be served.

    • Chris

      Your right instead of sending him back to his country, we should allow him to be punished in our country where jails are alot less painful than in his own. Not to mention if he is here illegally why should I have to pay for him to have medical care, food and water in jail? I agree, send him and his family if they are illegal, packing. We are already paying for the idiots in country who are legal and are to lazy to work.. why pay for him!!??

  • ted

    If you leave the gate open in the fence around a swimming pool and a child drowns you are held responsible. Why is no one held responsible for leaving the “gate” on our Southern Border open?

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