Police: After leaving liquor store, driver suspected of DUI hits pedestrian, drives away

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A man walking on the sidewalk was seriously injured after police say a driver suspected of DUI hit him and left the scene near the St. George liquor store Saturday.

Trevor Andreasen Royce booking photo posted in Washington County, Utah, March 29, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The driver, 37-year-old Trevor Andreasen Royce, was later arrested after police tracked him down at a hotel. He was charged with felony counts of DUI and leaving the scene of an accident with serious injuries.

Police responded to the initial incident reported as a hit-and-run involving a male pedestrian at 877 E. St. George Boulevard in front of a KFC restaurant at 8:09 p.m.

The man was walking on the sidewalk along St. George Boulevard when he was hit by a black Ford truck as it went over the curb, resulting in serious bodily injury, according to a police narrative written about the incident. Responders from Gold Cross Ambulance arrived and transported the man to Dixie Regional Medical Hospital for medical treatment.

A witness at the scene told police that the truck left the State Liquor Store at 161 N. 900 East just prior to the auto-pedestrian crash. The witness followed the truck and relayed its license plate number to 911 dispatchers.

According to the probable cause statement written in support of his arrest, the license plate number was registered to Royce, and police soon located him and his truck at a hotel on Sunland Drive.

Royce met with officers outside his hotel room, where he allegedly admitted to consuming half a quart of vodka after returning from the liquor store.

State Liquor Store at 161 N. 900 East in St. George, Utah, March 29, 2019 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

A store employee at the liquor store told St. George News the store’s policy is to not sell alcohol to anyone who appears intoxicated but that it’s left to the discretion of individual cashiers to make such assessments.

Outside the hotel, police state Royce agreed to perform a field sobriety test that he failed, and a Breathalyzer also “confirmed the presence of alcohol in Trevor’s body.”

Based on his performance in the field sobriety test, police state that they determined he was too impaired to safely operate a vehicle, and he was placed under arrest.

While he was being interviewed by police, Royce allegedly said he had taken an Ambien pill earlier in the day and also took one just before officers contacted him.

According to the statement, at the time of the auto-pedestrian crash, Royce said he felt a “bump” shortly after leaving the liquor store but that he was unaware he hit anything.

“After feeling the ‘bump,’ he continued to the hotel,” the statement reads. “Trevor mentioned using GPS to guide him to the hotel, but he could not remember which way he drove to get to the hotel.”

The location where a truck reportedly jumped a curb and hit a pedestrian several days earlier in St. George, Utah, March 29, 2019 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

Police state that the tread on his truck’s tires match marks on the sidewalk where the incident occurred. Debris on the truck also allegedly matched vegetation from a tree he reportedly hit in a planter on the sidewalk.

Royce was charged with two third-degree felonies, including failure to remain at an accident involving serious injury and DUI involving serious bodily injury by negligent operation of a vehicle.

He is also an alcohol-restricted driver stemming from a 2006 conviction in Ogden of a class B misdemeanor count of reckless driving involving drugs or alcohol. As such, St. George Police charged him with a class B misdemeanor for allegedly driving with any measureable amount of alcohol in his body.

As of Friday evening, Royce remains in jail on $11,420 bond. Due to being charged with a felony while having a previous alcohol conviction, he has not been allowed release on his own recognizance and must post bail.

This report is based on statements from police and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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