Two men accused of running from the scene of a crash that claimed the life of a Vernal man Monday have been identified in court records obtained late Tuesday by Channel V6 News.
John Collin Catalan, 32, and Bladimir Acosta-Lopez, 38, were booked into the Uintah County Jail on Monday for investigation of fleeing the scene of an accident, according to probable cause statements filed in 8th District Court.
Catalan was also booked for investigation of driving on a suspended license and operating a vehicle without insurance. He also had a $25,000 for warrant for his arrest that was issued in late January for an alleged probation violation in a case where he pleaded guilty to attempted theft by receiving stolen property, according to court records.
Utah Highway Patrol troopers were called to a crash about 5:30 a.m. Monday on U.S. 40 near mile marker 131 in Uintah County. When they arrived, one of the vehicles was unoccupied. A witness told troopers she saw two men with a small white dog leave the area headed toward Vernal, according to the probable cause statement.
Joshua Beasley, the driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash, died at the scene. His car crossed into the path of Catalan's vehicle, troopers said.
UHP Sgt. Nick Street said Tuesday that troopers continue to work on reconstructing the crash. The sergeant said investigators have not found any evidence that Beasley intentionally crossed into oncoming traffic, refuting speculation by some on social media following the crash.
Catalan and Acosta-Lopez were found three hours after the crash when Vernal police responded to a "suspicious person call" from someone who reported seeing two men and a small white dog on side of the road about two miles from the crash site, according to the probable cause statement.
They were taken to the hospital to be checked for injuries, then booked into jail. Troopers said both men acknowledged they were involved in the crash and left the scene.
Formal charges against the pair had not been filed as of Tuesday night.