Dump Truck Driver Pleads Guilty For October Collision On 40 That Resulted In Death Of Six

A Heber City dump truck driver has pled Guilty in Fourth District Court for an accident on Highway 40 last fall that killed six people.

The defendant, 42-year-old Jamie McKenzie, has pled Guilty to three counts of Automobile Homicide, a Second-Degree Felony, according to court documents.

Under the agreement with the Wasatch County Attorney’s office, entered on Wednesday, three other charges of Auto Homicide, and two DUI charges, both third-degree felonies, were dropped.

In a hand-written statement submitted in the court document, McKenzie says that last October 19th, he operated a motor vehicle in a negligent manner, with a blood alcohol level higher than .08, and caused the death of six people.

Officers reported that on that date, he was weaving in and out of traffic on Highway 40 at high speed, when he lost control of the truck, crossed the median, jumped the cable barrier and struck a vehicle heading in the opposite direction, killing all six passengers.

In his statement, McKenzie also admitted that he has a previous conviction for DUI.

According to the court document, each count in the Guilty Plea would carry a punishment of one to 15 years in the State Prison.

His sentencing has been set for May 29th.

Read the original story at KPCW.org.

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.