Driver who caused death of Tongan pregnant mother in Utah charged

    Nine month since a Tongan pregnant woman was killed in a crash in the United States, her driver, who was high on drugs while driving, was charged.

    Nephi Adelino Makaya, 26, was charged in 3rd District Court with manslaughter, a second-degree felony, and driving on a revoked license, a class C misdemeanor.

    He was cited for not having proof of insurance and not having his vehicle registered, said Deputy Salt Lake County District Attorney Sandi Johnson.

    After the July 25 crash, Makaya’s blood tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana, according to charging documents.

    Makaya had driven around lowered safety barriers on 900 South about 8 p.m. when a southbound FrontRunner train slammed into the passenger side of the car, according to charges.

    The passenger, 30-year-old Kaipa ʻOfa ki ʻUiha Sateki Kinikini, was eight months pregnant and was transported to University Hospital, where the emergency C-section was performed, charges state. The full-term fetus survived, but Kinikini was pronounced dead.

    Makaya was the father of the infant.

    Doctors believe there will be long-term medical consequences for the infant, who is with family, according to Johnson.

    Makaya was also transported to the hospital with injuries that weren’t serious.

    A $500,000 arrest warrant has been issued for Makaya’s arrest.

    The train was not in service or carrying passengers at the time of the collision, according to Utah Transit Authority spokesman Remi Barron.


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