Driver in hit-and-run fatal trike accident turns self in, answers to charges

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IVINS — Santa Clara-Ivins Police Department have released the names of a man who was killed in a hit-and-run accident while riding a hand-crank trike on Old Highway 91 in Ivins on Oct. 21 as well as the suspect who contacted police himself the same night, Santa Clara-Ivins City Police Officer Chad Holt said.

On the evening of Oct. 21, 33-year-old Mesquite resident Gary Fairse was driving westbound on Old Highway 91 near the Kayenta community of Ivins when his car struck and killed 57-year-old Steven Jed Canfield, who was riding a hand-crank trike, Holt said.

Fairse, who was driving a passenger car, left the scene unaware, he said, that the object he hit in the road was actually a person, Holt said. Once he heard reports of the accident he called police and told them he realized he caused the accident.

Fairse will be summoned to appear in 5th District Court on a third-degree felony charge for causing an accident involving death, Holt said.

Canfield was Karisa Vaughn’s roommate and a good friend to her fiancé, she wrote in an email to St. George News. He has had polio and lost the use of his legs at a young age, she said.

“He was training to participate in a marathon and had made it there from Hurricane earlier that day,” Vaughn also wrote, in a comment post to the St. George News Oct. 21 report. “Friends and family worried about him riding his trike on the side of the highway but he was determined to ‘ride.'”

“He always rides in the road, he is disabled from the legs down,” Sierra Bushman wrote in a comment to the St. George News report; she said Canfield was her sibling’s father. “He rode that wheelchair/bike since he was big eenough to ride it. ….”

“Also, his wheelchair had a 5 foot flag on it and was always very well lit up, specifically for drivers,” Bushman posted.

Another commenter posting to the St. George News report under the pseudonym “From Gunlock” said: “I saw this man on the Gunlock road that evening he was riding as far off the road as he could have, he also gave me a nod and a smile , I waved back. I will see his smile for along time to come …”

And another, commenting under the pseudonym “ME” said: “I saw him leaving the gas station when I pulled in around 730 I ran in grabbed smokes and left when I got back on the highway heading back to Santa Clara I passed him he was riding on the dirt giving plenty of room between hm and the road he was just barely passed the gas station when I passed him what a terrible tragedy …”

Emergency responders closed off Old Highway 91 between W. 400 South and Kayenta Parkway in Ivins for several hours the night of the accident to address and investigate the scene where Canfield’s trike and his body were first noticed by passersby who stopped to give aid and divert traffic. Police sought public input with any information that might help them locate the hit-and-run driver.

Anyone wanting to donate to the victim’s family for funeral and other expenses can go to any Mountain America Credit Union and deposit into the account named “Steven Canfield Memorial.”

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  • Michele October 27, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    I remember seeing the trike as he made his way up the hill in Hurricane toward Washington early last week. I thought to myself that he must have more strength in his arms than I have strength in my legs. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • PROTECT THE SHEEP October 27, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    If the man is from Mesquite it’s more likely he will serve time because he is less likely to be connected to the LDS church and forgiven. It’s unfortunate this bias exists here.

    • Steve October 27, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      Are you kidding me?….that has got to be one of the worst comments I have ever seen.

  • Missy October 27, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Huh? What you talkin bout, Willis? You chose to move here. If your not happy with the place and the culture, just leave. I feel bad for you.

    • You move October 27, 2014 at 9:12 pm

      God you Mormons feel so self entitled. Why don’t you go? This area is being saturated with lots of people who are WAY to free thinking to be bullied by the likes of you. You can try to outnumber them by polluting the earth with your nine kids. But I notice that a lot of THEM don’t buy into your B.S. So good luck there Missy but in the end, YOU WILL LOSE.

      • Robb Willie October 28, 2014 at 9:48 am

        Maybe they will lose, but it won’t be in your lifetime. No one is saying you don’t have a right to live in So. Utah. I would imagine she is wondering why, if you hate the Mormons so much, you would choose to be miserable here; rather than happy somewhere there are fewer Mormons. If work or other circumstances keep you there, you have my sympathies. But I, and perhaps Missy, wonder why you would make yourself unhappy by hating your neighbors, rather than exerting more power over your life and trying to choose happiness.

      • Old Man October 28, 2014 at 12:04 pm

        Why in the World did YOU come here. Was it just to Hate Mormons? No I’m not a Mormon, but came for the nice lifestyle. Mormons came here first to get away from people just like you. They were here in the 60’s when there was no air conditioner on the houses. Turn off yours for one summer and you wouldn’t last a week. Move here then want to change it to be like where you fled from. Idiot!!!

        • You are a Tard October 28, 2014 at 5:14 pm

          What nice lifestyle? The domestic violence? The corrupt government? The “if you aren’t mormon, you aren’t welcome” attitude, the hateful behavior toward blacks, mexicans, gays and those liberals? You can stay here. Too bad someone can’t build a one mile high block wall around this place and call it a prison.

      • Herd October 28, 2014 at 5:11 pm

        I can’t agree with you more about the entitlement attitude mormons have. They act like they own this country, not just the plot of land their house is on, but the entire country. You forgot to mention their persecution complex. You can see their persecution complex in the hateful responses they give you and their if you don’t like it you can leave attitudes. The rest of the world sees their bs behavior, but their eyes are so coated with their bs, they see nothing.

    • Nonmember October 27, 2014 at 11:03 pm

      Missy, as a non-member of the LDS church, I find it ironic I should be suggesting you read M Russell Ballard’s “Doctrine of Inclusion”, which speaks to members about using the tired comment “if you don’t like it, leave”….. Get familiar with your own apostles before jumping on someone who doesn’t believe in your church. He’s entitled to his opinion, and you should behave more as Elder Ballard suggests.

      • Sweet Jude October 28, 2014 at 5:21 pm

        That goes for non-members as well; moreso, for you because you have had these things at your fingertips, sir. If you want to go that route, try looking in the mirror.

  • Shelly October 27, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Very dangerous highway to be riding a bike, or anything similar to it. Too many curves, narrow, and so dark at night.

  • Char October 27, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    In one of the earlier comments, the writer said that she had seen him, thought it was dangerous as she almost hit him and thought of calling the police to notify them. yet in the article, which is slanted to make the driver appear more negligent, nothing is said of her concerns that same night. How about several comments from both sides? How about not slanting the news, but being factual

  • Mark October 27, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    He is definitely not getting local assistance (not lds) at least he doesn’t seem like it, if you google his name he has been arrested a few times recently,

  • Mark October 27, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    What I meant is that if he was lds he would have been arrested for embezzlement then let off the hook.

    • Sweet Jude October 28, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      I think everyone is so tired of your comments on here, that anyone who sees the name “Mark” knows what the gentleman, or not-so-gentle-man, if you will, is going to say next. How about subscribing to the news-paper, so you don’t get involved in here as much. We could all begin to sigh relief. People who are smart enough to not get trapped in their own head, or wrapped up in their emotions know exactly what I mean.

  • Shawn Steven Canfield October 27, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    I’ve been driving truck my whole life and I know no matter how dark it is how bad the conditions are you know what you hit my dad was a good man he didn’t deserve to be left on the side of the road to die alone may God have mercy on the man who just drove away cuz he will get none here! a real man would have been concerned more for that guy’s life then his own… getting in trouble would have been the least of my worries

  • Just Me.... October 27, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    OMG…I saw him that day. He was on SR9 in Hurricane, heading toward Washington, right after the bridge over VIrgin RIver. He stopped to rest there as I passed him. This was about 220pm. That poor guy. RIP

  • Zonkerb October 27, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Shelly yeah that is a bad road for biking absolutely no room for error

  • My Evil Twin October 28, 2014 at 6:47 am

    As I said in comments on the first article, this guy should not have been riding on that roadway, particularly at night. But I flatly do not buy that the driver that hit him, and then fled the scene didn’t “know what he hit.” The old BS meter pegged out on that one. Unless, of course he was so impaired as to be blind.
    I too have seen this “triker” all over Dixie, and have a certain amount of respect for him. But his judgement was way off, and it cost him his life. It is sad.

  • Missy October 28, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Wow. Lots of anger, bitterness and assumptions being tossed about with no facts. Lol. Nine kids. Bwahaha. I will say it again. There are a lot of good people here, LDS and non LDS, not to mention, beautiful scenery. If all you can see is you’re negative view, I pity you. Leave, if your only thought is one of negativity and judgement. You’re part of the problem. As far as what I need to read, dare I suggest, it might help you more. I wish you Peace and Forgiveness for your very small thoughts. My world is much larger than your fifty square miles.

  • Jojo Loves Ivins October 28, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    This is the best place to live and at first there was culture shock coming from San Diego where LDS is not a word you hear often. After getting over the shock as I would have moving anywhere that’s different from my home town, I can honestly say that im treated well here despite my religious differences and my new friends are mostly LDS and would do anything for me and my family. That being said, my condolences to the family and a big God bless you.

    • You are a Tard October 28, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      It’s not the best place to live unless you spent all of your life being some jail criminals’ wife

  • Pathetic October 29, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    All of you are pathetic. A man died and look at you people? Your all twisted. Im sorry as f…* I served this country, lost good friends to war, seen s…* and grew up faster than I should have. No sacrifice of mine or anyone is worth it for you disgusting people. Take your views and opinions and go somewhere else. There’s enough negativity in this world and you’re not helping. Learn to act as a whole and love each other. Mormons aren’t better than any other person, nor any person better than Mormons because of their views. You people are disgusting, and have completely lost the American way. Mormon or not, you’re all just as bad as the people you want to blame. One day s…* will hit the fan, and the people your bagging on are probably the people who would go fight and die for you, so you can be a little a..hole* on your f……* internet and keep your right of being an a..hole*. F……* sickening all of you.

    *Ed. ellipses

  • DAVE RABBITT October 29, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    ¶PATHETIC – Your comment was hypocritical, because you chose to join in the rant, rather than offering an opinion / condolences to the man who died. Your choice to use several expletives, to “enhance the severity of your anger”, is even more hypocritical, because you claim that everyone else should: ” Learn to act as a whole and love each other”. – Try to consider that because of those two things, ” just as bad as the people you want to blame”.
    ¶Now to comment on this story (since I’m here), “I” would like to add: This man’s death, while tragic, was due to his irresponsibility. And before anyone jumps down my throat, with both feet, please remember the quoted comment from the article; ” “Friends and family worried about him riding his trike on the side of the highway but he was determined to ‘ride.’”
    ¶The man who turned himself in has at least “tried” to correct his wrong, whether it be entirely from guilt or just so that the court will show a modicum of leniency.
    ¶I knew (exactly) what “PROTECT THE SHEEP” was implying, when he made the comment that started this whole rant. It was meant as an “analogy” towards other stories, where the perpetrator is deemed completely innocent, simply because they did not “knowingly, willfully or intentionally” cause injury or death.
    ¶In THIS case, however, the perpetrator DID “knowingly, willfully AND intentionally” continue to drive, after “hitting the object he hit in the road”.
    ¶This man may be fined for no less than $750 and may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to one year, as a hit-and-run which involves the injury or death of a person is only a Class A Misdemeanor.
    ¶Writing a bad check for $500-$1499.99 is a Class A Misdemeanor, but write one for $1,500 – $4999.99 and it’s a 3rd Degree Felony. (Guess a LIFE is worth less than 1500 bucks?)
    ¶To the family of this man; I’m very sorry for your loss. Whether the comments made by people were sympathetic or rude, I hope that this man’s death is not one of the types of stories that are talked about one day and quickly forgotten, the next… The hope is that perhaps this story may help both motorists AND cyclists , to be more aware of the possible dangers of sharing the road with one another.

  • Random November 1, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    I have seen this man often and he is always so friendly. I think this is all such a tragedy, but so thankful that he went out doing something he obviously loved. Personally, I don’t believe this man who didn’t know what he hit. I’m sorry, but it probably didn’t sound like a simple pebble. … he should have checked.
    Btw… has anyone else noticed that most of these writers for stg news are embarrassing us all with their elementary ways of writing?

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