Friday, December 29, 2006

follow up

Multiple charges filed in Ceran family deaths

Man facing 3 counts of auto homicide in Christmas Eve crash

By Pat Reavy
Deseret Morning News
The man accused of killing a mother and two of her children in a drunken-driving accident Christmas Eve was charged Thursday.
Photo courtesy of Ceran family Caleb, 12, Ian, 15, and Julianna Ceran, 7, bottom, and Gary, Clarissa, 19, and Cheryl, top.
Carlos Rodolfo Prieto, 24, was charged in 3rd District Court with three counts of automobile homicide, all third-degree felonies; two counts of driving under the influence and causing serious bodily injury, also third-degree felonies; a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence and causing bodily injury; and one count of not having a driver's license, also a misdemeanor.
The three charges of driving under the influence and causing bodily injury relate to the Ceran family members who survived but were injured. The degree of each charge relates to the severity of injury of each victim.
Prieto is being held in the Salt Lake County Jail on a no-bail immigration detainer and on $500,000 bail for the automobile homicide charges.
Salt Lake County Jail records initially reported this was Prieto's third DUI arrest. But Murray police, who investigated the crash, now say they cannot find any previous DUI incidents for Prieto and believe that an encoding error at the jail caused the confusion. Prieto was charged in 2004 with speeding and driving without a license and was ordered to pay a fine.
In this latest encounter, he is accused of running a red light at the intersection of 700 West and 5400 South early Sunday morning, smashing into a car carrying six members of the Ceran family who were returning to their Cedar Hills home following a Christmas party at the Hale Centre Theatre.
Cheryl Ceran and her 15-year-old son, Ian, and 7-year-old daughter, Julianna, were killed. Her husband, Gary Ceran, and two other children, 19-year-old Clarissa and 12-year Caleb, were hospitalized but survived.
Clarissa, the last family member in the hospital who was initially feared to have a serious spinal injury, was released Wednesday afternoon to continue her recovery and physical therapy at home.
Prieto told police he had had five beers before driving, according to court documents. He had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, slurred speech and failed a field sobriety test, court documents state.
Preliminary test results on Prieto's blood showed his blood-alcohol content was over the legal limit of .08, according to court records. He was also driving on an expired license.
At the mobile home in West Valley City where Prieto lived, family members said Thursday they knew he was in jail, but when asked whether they had talked to Prieto since his incarceration or any other details about what happened, a woman who said she was Prieto's sister-in-law said she did not speak English. When news reporters brought an interpreter to the home to ask more questions, the family did not answer the door, although several children and an adult could be seen looking through the window.
Neighbors said the family had been living there for less than a year. None of the neighbors interviewed said they knew the family very well but said it appeared a number of extended family members and children lived in the mobile home.
One neighbor said she saw a red truck parked in front of the house on occasion. Prieto was driving a red pickup the night of the accident.
Gary Ceran played the role of Bob Cratchit at the Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley City. Shortly after the accident, the theater announced two benefit performances of "See How They Run" to raise money for the Ceran family.
Both of those benefit shows scheduled to run today sold out so quickly that a third benefit performance has been announced for Saturday.
Those wishing to donate to the Ceran family can go to the Web site
Carlos Rodolfo Prieto Funeral services for Cheryl, Ian and Julianna Ceran are scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Cedar Hills Stake Center, 3950 W. Cedar Hills Drive. Viewings are set for 7 to 9 p.m. today and 9:30 to 10:40 a.m. Saturday, also at the stake center. All three events are open to the public. Burial is to follow at a grave site in West Valley City

If you would like to read any of the stories you can do so hereCeran Family
Also I know none of you here in blog land know these people but I have set up a blog page for commentsMemorial Page and I think it would be sweet of anyone reading this to drop them a note just to let them know you heard about what happened and wish them well. If you do visit the site and for some reason mention you read about it here, please use my name as Pat and do NOT refer back to this url..I prefer to keep it private



Blogger Anne Johnson said...

My condolences to you and your family. May your loved ones have found their way to the Summerlands.

December 29, 2006 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger Steph said...

My deepest condolences to you and your family. How horribly tragic! I have an aunt that lived in Murray for many years and she's just moved, I'll have to pass this news on to her when I finally hear from her.


December 29, 2006 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

I hope you are doing alright Autumn. Keep you chin up. Things like this happen and you are right, something else could have happened. We don't have answers for tragedies, we only have hearts for loving.


December 29, 2006 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger Granny said...


They sound like a wonderful family. I already left a comment on the Memorial Page. It was kind of you to do that for them.

December 29, 2006 at 11:53 AM  

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