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(Photo/carl ballou via Shutterstock)

Hit and Run: Driver Kills Siblings on Bikes, Blames Medication

Over the weekend, a driver in Washington City, Utah, drove her car into two cyclists using a bike lane. The sibling athletes later died from their injuries.

Julie Ann Budge, 47, told police that her medication caused her to swerve into two cyclists in southern Utah on April 9. Officers arrested Budge, who failed all field sobriety tests at the scene, according to documents obtained by local news affiliate Fox 13.

In the documents, Budge said the medication made her “defecate on herself without warning,” which caused her to lose control of her Hyundai Genesis.

Budge had allegedly been admitted to a hospital the previous day. She told police she had been taking fentanyl through an IV drip.

Driver ‘Knew’ She Hit Cyclists, Could Not Stop

According to the police affidavit, the cyclists were brothers from California, visiting Washington City for the annual Spring Tour of St. George race. Someone who saw the crash said they were riding in the area of Coral Canyon Boulevard and Telegraph Street just before noon.

Washington City Police said via Facebook that the cyclists and Budge were headed westbound on Telegraph, a paved four-lane road with a 50mph posted speed limit.

She reportedly told police she knew she hit the two cyclists at the time but could not stop the car. Her speed at the time of the collision is unknown.

“A witness at the scene of the accident stated that it appeared that Julie did not have the intention of stopping after hitting the two cyclists,” the arresting officer wrote. “The witness stated he followed Julie’s vehicle until she pulled over and stopped several hundred yards away from the accident.”

First responders found both cyclists unresponsive at the scene. Medical personnel transported them to St. George Regional Hospital nearby, where they succumbed to injuries.

The brothers’ identities have not yet been released.

Budge Arrested on 6 Felony Charges

“At this time, I placed Julie under arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence,” the arresting officer’s report said.

Officials transported Budge to the hospital, where they served a warrant for a blood draw.

Police are holding Budge in the Washington County Jail on two counts of automobile homicide due to criminal negligence, two counts of failure to remain at an accident involving death, and two counts of DUI with serious bodily injury by negligent operation.

All counts represent second- or third-degree felonies. She also faces a class B misdemeanor charge of reckless driving and an infraction for improper lane travel.

The affidavit states she had previously been convicted for DUI in 2015.

Sam Anderson
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Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.