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Defense attorney Lindsay Jarvis addresses court during a preliminary hearing on Monday for Julie Ann Budge, who is charged with two counts of automobile homicide after two cyclists in Washington City were struck and killed. (Cody Blowers, St. George News)
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ST. GEORGE — Both sides battled it out during a preliminary hearing Monday in the case involving a driver who police said struck and killed two cyclists in Washington City last month.
The preliminary hearing unfolded before District Judge G. Michael Westfall in the case of Julie Ann Budge, 47, who faces two second-degree felony counts of automobile homicide, criminal negligence — driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, as well as two third-degree felony counts of leaving the scene of an accident involving death.
The charges stem from an April 9 incident in which two men died after they were struck by a red 2004 Toyota Highlander that was found several hundred yards west of where the incident occurred. The men had been bicycling near the intersection of Coral Canyon Boulevard and Telegraph Street in Washington City.
The two men killed were brothers participating in the annual Spring Tour of St. George bicycle ride, along with their sons, both of whom were trailing behind when their fathers were struck.
Budge told responding officers she had several health issues and needed medical attention, adding she was on a number of medications, according to charging documents filed with the courts. Budge also said she had irritable bowel syndrome and began defecating on herself shortly before the incident, causing her to swerve toward the side of the road.
The report says she claimed she did not see the two cyclists stopped on the shoulder and struck both riders when she swerved.