Man Driving While Intoxicated Runs Over Boy in West Jordan

A man with a history of driving under the influence was arrested after witnesses saw him run over a 13-year-old boy who was on his bike. According to KSL News, the boy, Eli Mitchell, was heading home around 6 p.m. on April 26, 2022, after shopping at a nearby store for treats when the run-over happened. The person who ran him over, Mason Andres Ohms, 50-years-old from Saratoga Springs, was located after he fled the scene following the collision. He told police that he felt a bump at the time of impact “and did not know what it was.” However, witnesses say that Ohms stopped his truck in a nearby parking lot and removed the boy’s bike that had gotten stuck under his truck before he drove off. Fortunately, bystanders were able to take pictures of the man’s license plate to help police locate the man.

When police finally caught up with Ohms at his home in Saratoga Springs, they detected the strong odor of alcohol from the man’s breath, and he was arrested without incident. During the questioning, the man spontaneously admitted he had done a bad thing and run somebody over. He then invoked his right to remain silent. Current charges against the man include vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of an injury collision.

According to court records, there is an unfortunate pattern of this man driving while intoxicated, with DUI convictions going back to 1996, 1997, and 2003 and a violation of alcohol restrictions while driving in 2010. And those are only the times he actually got caught! The actual incidence of him being on the road and driving DUI are likely much higher. Sadly, his reckless practice of driving while impaired has now claimed an innocent teenager and his family is left with a large hole in it.

Legally speaking, a motorist who collides with another car or pedestrian is required under Utah law to remain at the scene of the crash and provide information to the other driver or injured pedestrian. When a motorist runs over someone as happened here, they are required to remain at the scene pending a police investigation. Some motorists that collide with a pedestrian or a cyclist are free of fault as the pedestrian may have suddenly darted into the street, were perhaps impossible to see in the dark, or maybe veered into the path of an oncoming car. That’s for the police and prosecutors to figure out. Here, the man knew very well that he had run someone over. And the criminal justice system will dole out punishment to him that will likely involve many years behind bars in a Utah prison.

As for the family, the parents have a wrongful death claim against Ohms and his insurance company for the policy limits of the insurance he may have carried with them. Following the resolution of that claim, they should make a claim against their own insurance carrier for the policy limits of any underinsured motorist coverage that is available. Additionally, there are death and burial benefits available under the personal injury protection (PIP) coverage that carriers are required by law to provide to those who carry car insurance in Utah.

Ron Kramer is an injury lawyer practicing in West Jordan and throughout Utah.