AP

Police search for driver suspected in Utah highway killing

May 23, 2019, 8:17 PM | Updated: 8:17 pm

This undated booking photo provided by the Idaho State Police shows Jonathan Llana. (Idaho State Police via AP)

(Idaho State Police via AP)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Police in Idaho were searching Thursday near a small town for a man suspected of shooting and killing a motorist along a desolate stretch of interstate highway in Utah.

Jonathan Llana, 45, of Los Angeles was being sought near Burley after crashing his car during a chase by authorities, Idaho State Police said, describing him as armed and dangerous.

Officials said they didn’t know a motive for the shooting Wednesday night on a stretch of Interstate 84 called Rattlesnake Pass in northern Utah.

Llana was charged Thursday afternoon with one count of aggravated murder and one count of attempted aggravated murder, according to online Utah court records. The charging documents don’t reveal much about the incident other than that Llana is accused at firing multiple rounds at the vehicle driven by the victim, Dennis Gwyther of Salt Lake City.

Gwyther and a passenger were traveling in a Range Rover from Salt Lake City to Boise, Idaho, for work, Utah State Bureau of Investigation Lt. Ryan Van Fleet said,
Llana owns a silver Volkswagen Jetta that Idaho troopers pursued until it crashed into a canal along Interstate 86, Van Fleet said.

The driver ran, and authorities were searching for him Thursday, with the assistance of a helicopter, officials said.

“We think he’s still out there … running through the fields,” Van Fleet said during a news conference in Salt Lake City. “We really think we’re getting close on this.”

In Idaho, Cassia County Sheriff Jay Heward warned residents near the search area to be wary of strangers and asked them to report any missing vehicles.

“People should keep their doors locked and not let strangers inside their homes,” Heward told The Times-News newspaper in Twin Falls, Idaho. “Don’t pick up anyone when you are driving or befriend anyone.”

Llana was described as 5 feet 10 inches (1.8 meters) tall, weighing about 150 pounds (68 kilograms), with black hair and brown eyes. He is described as armed and dangerous, but Heward said it’s unknown whether he has a weapon in his possession. Utah law enforcement officials said a weapon was found inside the wrecked Jetta.

Van Fleet said there was no indication the two drivers had interacted before the Wednesday shooting.

The attack occurred after the Jetta and Range Rover cleared a traffic slowdown that resulted when two big rigs were side by side as one passed the other, Van Fleet said.

The passenger in the Range Rover called 911 to report the shooting and provided a description of the Jetta, which had a unique antennae, according to the Utah Department of Public Safety.

Another motorist — an emergency medical technician — stopped to help and confirmed the driver had died. The injured passenger was taken to a hospital.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

AP

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at a Republican campaign ...

WILL WEISSERT Associated Press

Haley says she raised $12M in February, can’t point to long-term plan to beat Trump

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said Friday that she raised $12 million in February, a haul that will likely allow her to remain in the Republican primary against former President Donald Trump past next week's Super Tuesday — even though she can't point to an upcoming state where she expects to beat him.

21 hours ago

February, 29, otherwise know as leap year day, is shown on a calendar Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, in Ove...

LEANNE ITALIE AP Lifestyles Writer

What would happen without a Leap Day? More than you might think

Leap year. It's a delight for the calendar and math nerds among us. So how did it all begin and why?

2 days ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a primary election night ...

MEG KINNARD and WILL WEISSERT Associated Press

Trump wins South Carolina, easily beating Haley in her home state and closing in on GOP nomination

Donald Trump won South Carolina's Republican primary on Saturday further consolidating his path to a third straight GOP nomination.

7 days ago

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, center, sits with her attorney Jason Bowles, left, during the first day of t...

MORGAN LEE Associate Press

Negligence or scapegoating? Trial of ‘Rust’ armorer begins in fatal shooting by Alec Baldwin

Prosecutors sought to pin blame on a movie weapons supervisor for bringing live ammunition on set that contributed to the fatal shooting of a cinematographer by Alec Baldwin during production of the film "Rust."

8 days ago

A pail rests next to caution tape on a beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Fla., on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2...

Associated Press

Young girl killed when a hole she dug in the sand collapsed on a Florida beach, authorities said

A young girl died Tuesday when a deep hole she was digging collapsed on her at a south Florida beach, authorities said.

10 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018....

MEAD GRUVER Associated Press

A Colorado man is dead after a pet Gila monster bite

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death if the creature's venom was the cause.

10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Police search for driver suspected in Utah highway killing