SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — Utah County Deputy Joseph Richardson, who killed a Brigham Young University Student in a fatal car wreck last year, is facing criminal charges in relation to the Provo crash, the Summit County Attorney’s Office announced on Monday.
Richardson, a 17-year veteran of the Utah County Sheriff’s office, was responding to the scene of a police standoff involving an armed man in Pleasant Grove on March 16, 2021. Driving in his personal vehicle at a speed of about 56 mph in a 35 mph zone, unequipped with light or sirens, Richardson struck 22-year-old Joseph Spencer as he was attempting to turn left onto 900 East, according to charging documents.
Following the wreck, Richardson attempted to render aid to Spencer, but he was declared dead at the scene due to blunt force trauma to the head.
On Feb.1, 2022, the Utah County Attorney’s Office announced that it was transferring the decision to file charges in the case to the Summit County Attorney’s Office. The Utah County Attorney’s Office serves as civil attorney to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, and transferred the case to avoid any conflict.
According to court documents, Richardson has been charged with manslaughter in the death of Spencer.