WEST JORDAN, Utah (ABC4) — A West Jordan man was reportedly driving with a juvenile in the passenger seat when he crashed into a pickup truck, killing a local toymaker last December.
Asael Paul Lyman, 70, was charged at the Third District Court in Salt Lake City with negligently operating a vehicle resulting in death, a second-degree felony; driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, a class A misdemeanor; reckless driving, a class B misdemeanor; failure to stay in one lane, an infraction; speeding, an infraction; and failure to obey traffic control device, an infraction.
Lyman was accused of crashing into a white Chevrolet pickup truck in West Jordan on Dec. 1, 2022. The driver of the pickup truck, later identified as Claude Nile Thacker, 75, was pronounced dead on the scene. Thacker worked as a volunteer toymaker for the Tiny Tim’s Foundation for Kids, a local nonprofit that makes toys for children around the world.
According to the affidavit, a witness saw Lyman’s silver 2018 Ram pickup truck driving down the off-ramp from northbound Bangerter Highway onto 9000 South. The Ram then allegedly sideswiped the concrete barrier twice before continuing down the road at a high rate of speed.
Lyman reportedly nearly crashed into another vehicle and then crashed into Thacker’s pickup, which was in a westbound turn lane heading southbound onto Bangerter Highway. West Jordan Police say the impact caused Thacker’s vehicle to roll over “three lanes of traffic, up a small incline, through a chain-link fence and into a shed before stopping.”
It was later determined that Lyman was driving over 89 mph in a 55 mph zone, according to charging documents. Lyman and the juvenile in the passenger seat were transported to the hospital for treatment.
When interviewed, Lyman reportedly said he had spoken to his wife five minutes before the crash, but he did not remember anything else after that. Lyman also stated that he did not drink any alcohol the night before, according to charging documents. However, a toxicology report allegedly showed that Lyman had 0.12 grams of ethanol in his system at the time of the crash.
Lyman is being held without bail at the Salt Lake County Jail on the charges previously stated.