CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

A white car hit a woman on March 12. Was it part of a hit-and-run spree?

Apr 2, 2024, 11:00 AM | Updated: 11:36 am

A screenshot of Ring doorbell footage captured on March 12 showed the moment right before a woman w...

A screenshot of Ring doorbell footage captured on March 12 showed the moment right before a woman was hit by a white car. (Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

SALT LAKE CITY —  A video captured by a Ring doorbell on March 12 shows a hit-and-run crash involving a woman and a white car. The incident is suspected to be linked to a hit-and-run spree involving Salt Lake County women. 

Charging documents do not include the March 12 incident. However, they include five other incidents involving Salt Lake County women. The most recent incident included in the document was on March 11, just one day before the ring doorbell footage was captured. 

Salt Lake County District Attorney has charged Anh Duy Pham with four hit-and-runs, which happened before the one on March 12. The 26-year-old defendant is in law enforcement custody. 

Pham’s alleged hit-and-run spree

According to charging documents, the hit-and-run spree began on August 22, 2023. A woman was hit at 1000 West and 500 South. 

The charging document stated that a Salt Lake City Police Officer spoke to two female witnesses. The witnesses said they saw a white Toyota Avalon pull up next to a woman walking on the side of the street.

The woman, identified by the documents as Samantha, shrugged off the vehicle and began to run away. 

Then, according to the witnesses, the white vehicle sped up, hitting Samantha. She told police that before she was hit, the driver had asked her to enter the vehicle multiple times. 

The witnesses were able to provide a license plate number to the police. They found that the white Toyota Avalon was registered to Pham. 

At the time of the August 22 accident, the victim reported minor injuries and declined medical attention. Other victims weren’t as lucky, per the court documents. 

Another woman, identified as Jocelyn, and her daughter, were hit on February 24. Jocelyn suffered bone fractures, a hematoma, and blunt force trauma. Her daughter was also injured. 

The event descriptions align with the incident depicted in the March 12 footage. In that video, a car with the same body style as the Toyota Avalon can be seen speeding up and hitting a woman. 

Furthermore, the chain of events in the March 12 footage resembles the incidents described in court documents. The white car quickly collides with a woman, throwing her to the side of the road. Then, the car speeds away, leaving the woman. 

DA “can not comment” on March 12 footage’s possible connection 

KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Dujanovic spoke with Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill. 

According to Gill, the incident in August was likely just viewed as a traffic accident or a one-off hit-and-run.  

Related: Police explain why it took so long to arrest suspect in several intentional hit-and-runs

However, as more incidents were reported, investigators began to connect the dots. Eventually, the homicide team became involved. 

“As they started to piece it together then our homicide team started to look at it as something much more nefarious and much more serious,” Gill said.

Additionally, Gill said that as they filed the charges, his office encouraged law enforcement to take a second look at unsolved cases. Also, those who were victims of a hit-and-run involving a white car have been encouraged to follow up with police. 

“We have to connect this defendant [and] that particular car in an intentional way. So that takes a little bit of time,” said Gill. 

As for the March 12 incident, Gill said he could not comment. However, he did say that they would need to prove Pham was the driver of the white car. 

“In a court of law, you have to say it was this white car driven by this defendant,” said Gill. “Otherwise, we won’t be able to carry our burden. So there is still work that needs to be done. But these are cases that definitely need to be looked at.” 

A legal analyst weighs in

KSL legal analyst Greg Skordas reviewed the footage. He said that the car in the March 12 footage looks like the same car described in the charging documents for the other incidents. 

“Everything points to the same person, the same driver, the same course of conduct,” said Skordas. 

Additionally, Skordas assumed that the DA’s office could add additional charges soon. They could be adding a seventh count of attempted homicide and a seventh count of leaving the scene. 

If Skordas’ prediction comes true, Pham could be facing 14 counts. Currently, he faces 12 for the alleged hit-and-run spree. 

Pham could face life in prison for attempted murder. Additionally, according to Skordas, leaving the scene is a felony. 

“It’s clearly a violent act. All of these are and there was substantial injury. And if you leave the scene of an accident with an injury, that’s a serious crime all by itself. So I don’t know why law enforcement was a little slow to react to this,” said Skordas. 

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A white car hit a woman on March 12. Was it part of a hit-and-run spree?