Woman's jail time put on hold by deportation issue
By Stephen Hunt
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 01/12/2008

A Taylorsville woman who two years ago hit and killed a good Samaritan on Interstate 15 was sentenced Friday to 60 days in jail.
But 3rd District Judge Stephen Henriod stayed the jail term until attorneys find out whether it will affect the immigration status of Karen Searle, a resident alien who is a native of Britain.
Searle, 45, had pleaded guilty to class A misdemeanor counts of negligent homicide and leaving the scene of an injury accident for the Oct. 1, 2005, death of 22-year-old Ammon Gladwell.
Gladwell was killed after he stopped to help the victim of another crash at about 2:30 a.m. near 2400 South on I-15. Searle also hit and injured Carlos Salcedo, 23, another man who had stopped to help.
Searle claims she felt a collision, stopped, ran back, saw two bodies lying in the roadway, then drove away, according to charging documents.
She called police from a friend's house about 30 minutes later. She told officers she had been partying with friends at a pub and had stopped drinking about 9:30 p.m.
A 4:30 a.m. blood draw showed her blood-alcohol level at 0.05 percent, which is below Utah's legal limit of 0.08. Prosecutor Elizabeth Henry insisted, "Alcohol played a role in this crash."
Henry noted that other drivers saw and avoided the prior crash, which was in a lighted section of the freeway.



Searle sobbed as she apologized to Gladwell's mother and brother. "I am truly, truly sorry," Searle said. "It is inconceivable to me, the pain you must feel every day."
The judge placed Searle on probation for 36 months, during which her driving privileges will be suspended. He also ordered her to complete 200 hours of community service.
Defense attorney Ronald Yengich said Searle - a mother of five children who has no prior criminal record - has proposed speaking to students about drinking and driving.
Within 10 days, Yengich will tell the judge whether the jail term could trigger deportation for Searle. If it does, another hearing may be held. Henry said Searle deserves jail time but added no one wants to see her deported.