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Utah man to be charged with reckless driving in crash that killed 3

Updated December 8, 2021 - 7:44 am

A man accused of causing the death of a father and two children in a Nov. 28 crash in Nye County will face seven counts of reckless driving, the county’s district attorney said Tuesday.

Christos Vrachnos will not face DUI charges, even though the Nevada Highway Patrol said at the time that he showed signs of impairment.

“Even though Vrachnos was initially booked on suspicion of DUI, there is insufficient evidence to charge DUI at the present time. My office continues to work with the Nevada Highway Patrol as the investigation moves forward,” Nye County District Attorney Chris Arabia said in a statement. “We are ready to adjust the charges in response to any new information that we receive.”

Vrachnos, 45, of Salt Lake City, was arrested after the crash that killed Thomas Catan, 41, Abiel Catan, 12, and Ayana Catan, 7, all from Washington.

Nye County Sheriff’s Office Capt. David Boruchowitz said on Nov. 29 that Vrachnos had been booked at the county jail on six felony counts of DUI causing death or substantial bodily harm, among other charges.

It was unclear why prosecutors decided not to charge Vrachnos with the DUI counts.

Highway Patrol spokeswoman Ashlee Wellman said Vrachnos was driving a silver Volvo north on U.S. Highway 95, near Amargosa Valley, when he failed to maintain his travel lane. The Volvo struck a truck with a camper attached, then a GMC Yukon, but no one in those vehicles was injured, Wellman said.

The Volvo then slammed into a gray Chrysler minivan, killing the three people. The female driver of the minivan and a third child were taken to University Medical Center with injuries that were not considered life-threatening. A dog also was found dead after the crash.

Vrachnos faces three counts of reckless driving causing death, four counts of reckless driving causing substantial bodily harm and one count of unlawful killing of a dog.

A pretrial hearing is set for Dec. 20 in Beatty Justice Court.

Contact Jonah Dylan at jdylan@reviewjournal.com. Follow @TheJonahDylan on Twitter.

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