A woman from southern Utah who was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of drugs and killing two brothers who were cycling on a road blamed the accident on her irritable bowel syndrome.
Julie Ann Budge, the 47-year-old suspect, told responding officers at the scene she had "various medical issues" and swerved into the bike lane because she had been "uncontrollably" defecating herself without warning.
You can see a news report here:
She claimed she did not see Matthew Bullard and Adam Bullard–the two brothers from California who were participating in the "Spring Tour of St. George" timed bike ride on Saturday.
Police said the Bullards were riding westbound in the bike lane on Telegraph Street in Washington City, Utah which is located about eight miles northeast of St. George.
However, Budge claimed the brothers were stopped on the road and while she knew she hit them, she said she couldn't get her car to stop after the crash.
She said her vehicle eventually stalled out several hundred yards away from the crash site.
A police booking affidavit stated a witness told police:
"It appeared that Julie did not have the intention of stopping after hitting the two cyclists."
"The witness stated he followed Julie's vehicle until she pulled over and stopped several hundred yards away from the accident."
The slain brothers were taken to St. George Regional Hospital where they were pronounced dead from their injuries.
The victims' sons had apparently been riding behind their fathers at the time.
Another witness, Mike Staten, said he was also cycling the 100-mile route with his sons and was horrified at what they saw.
"As I turned the corner, I saw people out in the road, a couple of teenagers in cycling kits were screaming."
"There were two people on the ground receiving CPR from people who had stopped in their cars, and there were just pieces of bike—the biggest pieces were the tires, but everything else was shattered and strewn all over the place."
"My youngest said the boy who was screaming was crying out for his dad, and he's like. 'That could have been my dad'."
The booking affidavit also said Budge failed her "field sobriety tests."
She allegedly told the officers "she had been admitted to the hospital the day before and had been taking fentanyl through an IV drip."
Social media users weren't buying it.
Budge was taken to a hospital where she had her blood drawn before being booked into Washington County Jail where she is held without bail.
On Monday, she was charged in 5th District Court with "two counts of automobile homicide, a second-degree felony; two counts of DUI and two counts of causing an accident involving death, both third-degree felonies; reckless driving, a class B misdemeanor; and failing to stay in her lane, an infraction," according to KSL.
State records indicated Budge has a history of "guilty pleas to reckless driving, failure to yield, unsafe lane travel, failure to operate within a single lane and several others."
Following the incident, Jenn Oxborrow, executive director at Bike Utah, said in a statement:
"We are gutted by the tragic and preventable death of the two cyclists whose lives were taken this weekend by someone who admittedly drove under the influence."
"Our hearts go out to their loved ones and to everyone who witnessed the crash, as well as to those who attempted to provide life-saving help."