JUSTICE

Man sentenced for DUI crash that seriously injured four teens in Logan

Apr 26, 2021, 6:49 PM | Updated: Apr 27, 2021, 8:27 am
(Stock Photo)...
(Stock Photo)
(Stock Photo)

LOGAN, Utah – The man accused of drinking, driving and causing a crash that severely injured four teens in Logan Canyon is sentenced to prison.  The victims spoke at his sentencing, saying he scarred them in many ways, not just physically. 

Sarah Frei was in the car when Dustin Anderson crashed into their vehicle head-on. Investigators say Anderson was driving northbound on U.S. 89 last July when he lost control and swerved into the southbound lanes.  Anderson’s blood alcohol content was .22 when he was finally tested three hours after the crash.  Witnesses said Anderson claimed the teens were at fault and that they crashed into him.

Frei got the worst of the physical injuries than anyone involved in the crash even the other teens.  She lost her legs, was paralyzed from the waist down and prosecutors say she has seven feet of scarring over her body.  During the sentencing, Frei spoke about the activities she used to love, like cheerleading and tumbling.  However, all that changed in the blink of an eye.

Heart of Utah: Strong like Sarah

“People treat me differently now.  Some people are scared of me,” Frei said, tearfully.  “[That’s] extra hard because I feel like I haven’t changed.  I feel like I’m still the same person, which makes it ten times harder.”

Most of all, she used to love riding motorcycles with her father.  She said her dad had just purchased a red motorcycle for her after she got her license.

“Motorcycle riding is a memory I will cherish forever because I won’t get it back,” she said.

Other victims say they still have flashbacks and are scared to travel on long trips, worried another driver might lose control and crash into them.  One father said Anderson showed more concern for public safety by wearing a mask in the courtroom than he showed on the day of the crash.

Frei’s father, Greg, said even after the crash happened, Anderson did nothing to help.

“Why did he do nothing to rescue these kids?  These kids are young enough to be his own children.  After he slammed into them, he was unharmed and stood by the side of his car and did nothing,” he said.

Anderson’s defense attorney, Vincent Stevens, said Anderson is remorseful over the crash, and he wishes he could take back what he did.

Stevens said, “It’s important that the court and the victims understand that he is sorry.  This is something that he never wanted to happen.”

However, Stevens argued against sending Anderson to prison, saying he would not be able to pay back the required restitution if he isn’t allowed to work.

“Mister Anderson is under no illusion that he should escape some sort of punishment for this,” according to Stevens.

Prosecutor James Swink argued for consecutive sentences for Anderson, saying harsher sentences deter people from drinking and driving.  He said Anderson’s refusal to help the teens who were injured in the crash showed a heightened sense of apathy, especially since some of the victims were helping despite their injuries.

Swink said, “Contrast that with Josh [Harrison] who was out of the car with a broken hip, a broken neck and other injuries, hobbling around to try and find some assistance and trying to do whatever he could do, even though he felt hopeless.”

The judge agreed with Swink, sentencing Anderson to two consecutive sentences of 0-5 years in prison.

Earlier this year, Governor Spencer Cox signed “Sarah’s Bill” into law, named after Sarah Frei.  It allows for harsher bail terms for people who injure others while driving drunk.  Swink says Anderson was able to bail out very quickly after being booked into the Cache County Jail.


Related:

Sarah’s Bill close to passing

 

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Man sentenced for DUI crash that seriously injured four teens in Logan