'Tragedy upon tragedy,' teen sentenced for fatal prom-night crash near Moab

'Tragedy upon tragedy,' teen sentenced for fatal prom-night crash near Moab (Photo: San Juan County Sheriff)

(KUTV) – A judge ordered a teen to jail for his role in a fatal prom-night crash that killed two teens, and injured two others near Moab, Utah.

Gage Moore, 18, will spend one year in the San Juan County Jail and then begin a term of probation.

Moore was behind the wheel of a car that crashed on the night of March 5, shortly after the Grand County High School prom. Two passengers in the car, Taylor Bryant, 14, and Connor Denney, 16, died. Two other teens were injured in the crash.

“There is no way I can take this horrible event back, I can only apologize from the deepest part of my heart, I am so sorry,” Moore said in court.

Moore accepted an agreement with prosecutors and pled guilty to two counts of automobile homicide, a second degree felony, and two counts of reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor.

“I want to offer the sincerest apology,” Moore told Judge Anderson. “I live with this pain every day.”

Families of the victims were visibly upset when Anderson accepted the recommendation of prosecutors and defense attorneys, urging him to sentence Moore to one year in jail and probation.

“This kid got away with murder … I am so upset with this judge, with this entire system here.” said Honey Dawson, the mother of one of the injured victims.

Tensions boiled over when Anderson announced he accepted the plea deal and sentenced Moore to one year jail followed by probation. Family members of the victims stormed out of the courtroom.

Two women could be heard screaming in the hallway.

After court let out, San Juan County deputies had to step in and break up a fight between family members in the parking lot.

A 2News crew heard members of Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) encourage family members to go to a nearby Maverik, away from deputies, where another fight broke out. Monticello Police and San Juan County Sheriff’s Deputies raced to the Maverik and broke up another scuffle.

Moore went into the jail’s custody as soon as Anderson dismissed the courtroom.

“The judge determined that in this situation a year in jail was appropriate and he was hopeful Gage would be successful,” Moore’s defense attorney Tara Isaacson said.

Isaacson described the situation in court as “tragedy upon tragedy.”

“The bottom line is that it’s a terrible tragedy, there’s no sentence that the judge can impose, like he said, that’s going to change things for these families,” Isaacson said.

Moore’s sentence includes extensive therapy and rehabilitation programs. He will remain under close supervision when he is released from jail, according to the plea agreement.

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