SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The suspected driver of a pickup truck that was traveling the wrong way on I-15 when it collided head-on and killed a 26-year-old newlywed bride has been charged with multiple crimes.
36-year-old Manaure Gonzalez-Rea has been charged with automobile homicide, theft, failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving serious injury, reckless driving, and two counts of driving under the influence.
A police statement reads that at around 1:11 a.m. on Aug. 7, a Toyota pickup traveling southbound in the northbound lanes on the entry ramp near 1700 S. crashed head-on with a Toyota Corolla, causing fatal injuries to 26-year-old Angelica “Jelly” Dhondup in the Corolla. Her passenger was later taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
According to the police affidavit, in the middle aftermath of the accident, Gonzalez-Rea was pulled from his truck, which had been turned upside down, by a witness on the scene. The witness placed the 36-year-old in the bed of his own truck, which Gonzalez-Rea, in turn, stole in an attempt to escape.
A responding officer located the stolen vehicle and arrested Gonzalez-Rea near the Redwood Road exit on I-80, and reported that he had “an overwhelming odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath in an open-air environment.”
In the booking and investigative process, Gonzalez-Rea admitted to drinking three beers before the crash and also urinated on a police holding room floor, according to the police statement.
ABC4’s Jordan Burrows caught up with the family of Dhondup, who was mourning her loss with her death occurring just hours after her wedding. The family held a candlelight vigil at Warm Springs Park on Saturday night.
“You would always see Jelly with a smile,” Dhondup’s cousin Curtis Dorsey-Maestas told Burrows. “There was not a day that didn’t go by that she didn’t smile and for us seeing that smile made us smile.”