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Utah woman dies from car crash in high-speed chase by repo man

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  • Utah woman dies from car crash in high-speed chase by repo man

    A Utah repo man sent to tow away a family’s car wound up chasing a woman who fled in the car until she slammed into a tree early Tuesday, police said.
    Ashleigh Holloway Best, 35, died in the crash after Kenneth Drew chased her Lincoln Navigator in his tow truck at speeds of up to 70 mph, according to the Pleasant Grove Police Department. Drew, 49, faces charges of manslaughter resulting in death in the 10 to 12-block pursuit in the town near Provo.
    “I've never, in my 15 years of law enforcement, I've never seen a repo agent be this aggressive. I've never seen anything like it,” Pleasant Grove police Lt. Britt Smith told the Deseret News. “The end doesn't justify the means.”

    Drew’s truck hit the Navigator, causing it to go careening off the road, over a sidewalk and into the tree on N. 100 East, police said. He had shown up at Best’s home on Cherryhill Dr. just after midnight to repossess the SUV but Best sped away in it following an argument outside the home, according to cops.
    Brian Edwards, Drew’s employer and the owner of On Demand Repos, declined a request for comment Wednesday.

    He previously told the Deseret News his company’s policies call for drivers not to chase anyone and that Drew denied he had been pursuing her.
    “He told me she started going really fast so he stopped,” Edwards said. “My driver, he's a good guy. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body. His does his job. He respects people. I don't know the whole details of last night. I just wish everybody would wait to see what the investigation shows.”

    Yet Best’s family is having a hard time understanding the death of the mother of three, her sister-in-law Buffee Best told KSTU-TV.
    “That’s what we’ve been saying all day is it was just a stupid car. A life for a stupid car,” Best said. “It’s just unbelievably hard.”

    The victim and her husband had recently moved their family from Florida to be closer to his parents, Best wrote on a GoFundMe page for funeral expenses. The page had raised over $3,500 on Wednesday night.
    “Her husband lost his best friend, his lover, his soulmate and his reason for existing,” Best wrote on the page. “Her three children lost their beautiful devoted mother. Her mother lost her only daughter and very best friend. Her brother lost his twin. Our families lost a piece of our souls.”

  • #2
    I heard about this Wednesday or Thursday. Not only is it a sad event for that person and family it is a big black mark on this industry.
    If the recovery company owners don't start making employees and themselves take educational programs available (A good one, some aren't) along with drivers safety program and stop these accidents and lawsuits this industry will cease to exist. The insurance companies have all but stopped writing coverage (I think their are 2 now) and the reason is claims.
    This terrible event wasn't an accident because he was chasing her and that caused it, the driver is most likely going to jail and I support that and the business owner may as well go to Walmart and see if they have any openings because his employee just sent him to the poor house.

    My prayers are with the family that will make it through this, and the scars will not be to deep for those children as their family must cope with the death of a loved one and try to raise those children without their mother.


    • #3
      Repo man charged with manslaughter in Pleasant Grove woman's death

      PLEASANT GROVE — A repo man accused of chasing a woman whose car he was trying to repossess was charged Tuesday with using his tow truck to run the woman off the road, causing her to crash into a tree, killing her.
      Kenneth Drew, 49, of American Fork, an employee of On Demand Repos, was charged in 4th District Court with manslaughter, a second-degree felony.
      Just after midnight on May 17, Drew attempted to repossess a vehicle belonging to Ashleigh Holloway Best, 35, of Pleasant Grove. Best's husband initially argued with Drew, asking for a chance to update his payments in exchange for leaving the vehicle alone, according to a police affidavit.
      But while Drew was waiting for the payments to be made, Best — a mother who had recently married and moved to Utah to get back on her feet after struggling financially — got into her 2002 Lincoln Navigator and drove away.
      Drew initially told investigators he waited at that point for the tow truck lift to reset before going to look for Best.
      However, "a neighbor’s security camera video shows that the tow truck did not stop at all. It shows Mr. Drew forcing Mrs. Best to hug the curb on her right around the cul-de-sac as he tried to box her in with his tow truck and as both vehicles accelerated. Mrs. Best got around the tow truck and the video shows Mr. Drew speeding after the Navigator in very close pursuit as they leave the cul-de-sac and the camera’s view," charging documents state.
      "Mr. Drew admitted to police that he was angry at having given the Bests an opportunity to keep their car that they used to try to get away from him," according to the charges.
      Rather than leaving and trying to repossess her car at another time, prosecutors say Drew gave chase for up to 12 blocks through residential streets. Drew claimed that Best's vehicle kept veering into his.
      "(Drew) claimed that Mrs. Best then accelerated past him on the right, began to fishtail, jumped the curb to the right, and struck a tree. He claimed it all happened so fast that he was not even sure that it was the Navigator until he checked the license plate after the crash. He told police at least twice he immediately pulled in behind Mrs. Best, jumped out of his truck, ran up to the Navigator and called 911. He denied having to slow down further down the road and making a U-turn to return to the accident scene," the charges state.
      But prosecutors say an accident reconstruction team showed that Drew's story didn't add up. Based on evidence from the scene plus an interview with Drew's girlfriend who was in his tow truck with him, prosecutors believe the truck was "driving almost parallel" to Best as they entered an S-curve.
      "Their preliminary conclusion is that this damage is not consistent with Mr. Drew’s description of a bump between the vehicles, but rather indicates that they were traveling in contact with each other for some time," according to the charges. "Mr. Drew drove the tow truck straight to pin Mrs. Best against the curb on the right. When she did not stop, the Navigator jumped the curb and hit the tree. Furthermore, there was no evidence that the Navigator fishtailed as Mr. Drew described."
      Furthermore, video surveillance from a nearby junior high school showed that Drew did not immediately turn around as he claimed.
      Best's girlfriend "repeatedly described this incident as a chase and admitted she was scared," the charges state.
      When confronted with the evidence, prosecutors say Drew "conceded that he may have been using his truck to try to stop Mrs. Best, to try to bring the whole thing to an end. He also backtracked on his first account and said that he did not really remember details about how the crash happened," the charges state.
      Brian Edwards, owner of On Demand Repos, said shortly after the crash that Drew was an "honest" man.
      "My driver, he's a good guy. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body. His does his job. He respects people," he said last week. "I just wish everybody would wait to see what the investigation shows."
      Edwards said his company's policy is not to chase people.
      Drew has a history of traffic-related offenses, according to state court records. He was convicted of unlawful conduct for a motor carrier in 2015, a class B misdemeanor, in a plea in abeyance. In 2013, Drew was convicted of misdemeanor DUI, and in 2012 pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct, a class C misdemeanor.


      • #4
        Maybe we are missing the all sides of the story here? What experienced repo agent would act like that?


        • #5
          Repo man charged with manslaughter to change plea

          Repo man charged with manslaughter to change plea

          A repo man charged with manslaughter in the death of a Pleasant Grove woman is scheduled to change his not guilty plea.

          The defendant, Kenneth Drew, and his attorney, Loni DeLand, told Judge Thomas Low on Monday they are prepared to have a plea hearing at the end of the month.

          Drew, 49, will change his plea Nov. 28.

          Jared Perkins, of the prosecution, and DeLand discussed the plea deal last Thursday, just prior to what was scheduled to be a preliminary hearing.

          “We were all ready to go forward today,” Perkins said Thursday. “We have spent every waking hour for the past seven days preparing for this.”

          The plea deal was last minute, but all involved parties, including the family of the victim, have agreed on the resolution.

          According to police reports, at about midnight on May 17, Drew was at the Pleasant Grove home of Ashleigh Best, 35, who had fallen behind on title loan payments. He was there to repossess her vehicle.
          Best’s husband, Brennen, reportedly confronted Drew, stepping between the tow truck and his wife’s sport utility vehicle, and the two got into an argument until Drew agreed to leave the SUV alone to allow the couple time to make a payment.
          Police reports state Best soon got into her SUV and drove off, according to her husband’s instruction.
          Police say Drew then angrily drove after her in his tow truck with his girlfriend in the passenger’s seat. Drew reportedly pursued Best through a Pleasant Grove neighborhood, going faster than 50 mph, bumping and grinding against her car, and damaging her vehicle.
          At some point in the chase Best’s vehicle jumped a curb and smashed into a tree. She died soon after.
          Drew told police he was following Best to keep an eye on the SUV, according to police reports. Prosecutors say evidence shows otherwise.
          "He was chasing Mrs. Best recklessly, and the inconsistencies in his account indicate that he was aware of wrongdoing and trying to mitigate his liability," prosecutors wrote in the charging documents.
          According to police, it is illegal for repo agents to use force to reclaim vehicles.


          • #6
            This guy deserves to be stoned in the courtyard he might as well held a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. In my opinion he committed murder, I hope this plea deal doesn't give him a free pass. F**king idiot has left a mark on this industry that will take a long time to forget.


            • #7
              Would like to see the footage from the neighbors camera system.