Driver in fatal Eagle Mountain road rage crash identified, arrested for felony manslaughter
By Ryan Bittan,2023-06-07
Matheson was arrested Wednesday after turning himself in at the Utah County Jail. He is currently facing two counts of manslaughter (second-degree felony) and one count of reckless driving (Class B misdemeanor).PREVIOUSLY: Man, woman killed after road rage driver rams car, loses control, and crashes head-on into Porsche 911 in Eagle Mountain
The victims killed in Sunday’s Eagle Mountain crash have been identified as Rodney Michal Salm, 48, of Salt Lake City, and Michaela Himmleberger, 47, of Holladay.
Deputies responded to the incident at around 12:30 p.m. on a report of a serious crash on SR-73 near mile marker 30. Upon arriving at the scene, they learned that a 48-year-old man and 47-year-old woman, identified as Salm and Himmleberger, had died in the crash.Close
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According to a probable cause affidavit, the incident began when a man driving a Ford F-150, identified as Matheson, began tailgating, or following too closely, a Nissan Maxima on SR-73.
The affidavit states that the driver of the Maxima had legally passed Matheson on a different road, and that the two then turned east on SR-73. At this point, Matheson allegedly tried to pass the Maxima as the lanes on SR-73 merged, but was unable to do so.
While heading east on SR-73, Matheson allegedly tailgated the Maxima, and eventually drove on the shoulder, pulling up to the right of the car.
At this point, authorities say Matheson rammed his truck into the Maxima. The driver of the Maxima then slowed down, and Matheson lost control of the F-150.
After losing control, Matheson’s truck reportedly spun to the left into westbound lanes and collided head-on with a Porsche 911. The two passengers in the Porsche, Salm and Himmleberger, were pronounced dead at the scene.
The Utah Co. Sheriff’s Office says the two were “completely uninvolved” in the road rage incident except at the point where Matheson lost control and crashed head-on into their car.
The sheriff’s office has stated the following regarding the incident:
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Matheson operated his vehicle in a willful disregard for the safety of others.
Matheson’s maneuver to pass the Nissan Maxima on the shoulder and then collide
with Nissan Maxima created a substantial and unjustifiable risk that a vehicle
collision would occur as were the speeds he was traveling outside of the travel
lane and beyond the fog line. The speed limit on that section of road is 65
miles per hour. A collision at that speed is likely to cause serious injury or
death. A reasonable person would not attempt to pass a vehicle on the shoulder,
especially at the distance, speeds, and in the aggressive manner reported by
witnesses. Matheson’s driving was reckless as he drove an estimated .64 miles
from the turn onto SR 73 to the location where the collision occurred, following
both the Maxima and later the uninvolved witness too close, attempting to pass
on the right, and traveling 65 miles an hour on the shoulder of the roadway.
Ultimately this reckless driving resulted in a collision with the Nissan Maxima
and then the Porsche, with both the adult male and adult female occupants in the
Porsche being killed as a result of the collision.