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Man charged with vehicular manslaughter after UTV crash last year

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ISLAND PARK — A 53-year-old man is facing charges for a UTV crash last year that killed his wife.

Scott Taylor is now being charged with three misdemeanors including vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence and resisting and obstructing an officer. The case was filed against him on May 13.

The incident happened on September 17, 2021, in the Big Springs area in Island Park. At around 11 p.m. dispatchers received a 911 call from Scott who told dispatchers that he and his wife, Tonya Taylor, had been involved in a single-vehicle accident and that Tonya was trapped under the UTV and submerged in water.

Scott had initially attempted to lift the UTV off his wife but was unable to move the vehicle. Scott ran to a nearby cabin and contacted a neighbor to try and help. They both attempted to remove the UTV but were unsuccessful. Click here for the previous story.

RELATED: Woman dies after UTV crash in Fremont County

According to the criminal complaint document filed in Fremont County, “the defendant Scott A. Taylor…did unlawfully, but without malice, kill Tonya Taylor … by operation of a motor vehicle.” The documents say he failed to maintain control of a blue Polaris UTV that he was driving. He struck a tree and rolled the UTV, which caused it to tip into a pond, trapping Tonya in the water underneath and ultimately killing her.

Scott reached out to EastIdahoNews.com to tell his side of the story and does not agree with the charges filed against him. He said at the time of the crash, his wife was driving the UTV.

“They said we hit a tree…there’s no tree within 300 feet of where the accident happened and she was driving. She just over-cut and it rolled and we were out of it,” he said.

Scott explained the UTV rolled on her. He said he believes that first responders are at fault because he explained when they tried pulling the UTV off of her, a harness slipped and they re-dropped it on her neck.

The criminal complaint also alleges that Scott was driving while being under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or an intoxicating substance. Additionally, the criminal complaint says he did willfully resist, delay, or obstruct a police officer in the discharge of their duties.

“The cops drug me out of the ambulance and tried to interrogate me right then so I went off on them,” he said. “They are the ones who probably could have killed her.”

Authorities say Tonya was transported by ambulance to Madison Memorial Hospital and died from her injuries while en route.

Scott told EastIdahoNews.com he had been married to Tonya for 24 years and this has been difficult for him.

No other information about the charges was available in the documents. EastIdahoNews.com has reached out to the Fremont County Prosecutor’s Office for more details and will update this article if they respond.

RELATED: Tonya Taylor obituary

Scott was issued a summons to show up at Fremont County Magistrate Court. He pleaded not guilty to all three charges on May 23. There is a pre-trial conference scheduled for Taylor on July 20 at 9 a.m.

Although Scott has been charged with these crimes, it does not necessarily mean he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.

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