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Utah repo man charged with manslaughter after allegedly running woman off the road to her death

First Published      Last Updated May 25 2016 03:56 pm

An American Fork man was charged Tuesday after he allegedly ran a woman off the road and to her death in an attempt to repossess her SUV.

Kenneth Drew, 49, was charged in 4th District Court with manslaughter, a second-degree felony, over 35-year-old Ashleigh Best's death.

Drew, an On Demand Repo employee, went to Best's Pleasant Grove home to repossess the vehicle in the early hours of May 17, charging documents state.

A neighbor's surveillance video shows Best taking off in the SUV and Drew trying to box in Best with his tow truck as both vehicles accelerate, according to charging documents. Best maneuvers around the truck with Drew "speeding" after her "in very close pursuit," charges state.



After leaving the camera's view, the two came to an S curve in the road, and rather than giving Best some space, charges state, Drew drove the tow truck "straight to pin Mrs. Best against the curb on the right."

The SUV jumped the curb and hit a tree, a collision that inflicted fatal injuries on Best, charges state.

Police believe speeds through city streets were 70-80 mph, and apparently the collision, ending at 682 N. 100 East, occurred at full speed. "There's no evidence of braking before impact," Pleasant Grove Police Chief Mike Smith said later that day.

Drew's explanation of what happened that night doesn't entirely match the video and photo evidence gathered by police, charges state.

Drew's girlfriend was in his tow truck and told officers she was "scared during this incident and repeatedly wondered why they were even chasing Mrs. Best," according to charges.

She also said she was unsure of whether Drew ran Best off the road on purpose, charges state.

On Demand Repo has a "clear company policy never to chase anyone who tries to avoid a repossession," charging documents state.

Drew, who was booked into jail later that day, had an initial court appearance on Wednesday.

A scheduling hearing was set for July 5 before Judge Thomas Low in American Fork.

mnoble@sltrib.com

Twitter: @mnoblenews

 

 

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