Utah man charged with murder after police say he deliberately hit and killed a man on a scooter

The 53-year-old man is being held without bail.

(Salt Lake City Police Department) Police are investigating a hit-and-run accident that killed a 61-year-old man on a scooter on July 3, 2023.

A Salt Lake City man was accused of deliberately hitting and killing a man on an electric scooter earlier this month.

Robert Johnson Boyatt, 53, was charged with murder, a first-degree felony, in the 3rd Circuit Court on Monday; obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony; and failure to stay within a fatal accident, a third-degree felony.

At 1:15 am on July 3, police were called to a hit and run at approximately 1000 West on 1000 North. When they arrived, they found 61-year-old Victor Hershberger, who had sustained multiple injuries, on the ground. First responders helped, but he died at the scene of the accident.

Witnesses told police they saw a red car make a U-turn before the accident, swerved across the road, crashed into the scooter rider and then drove away. According to the indictment, a police witness said Boyatt “punched.” [Hershberger] hard from behind and kept going.” Another witness said the driver of the red car “deliberately hit him and drove away.”

Police investigators determined Boyatt was traveling about 36-38 miles per hour when he hit the driver, who was thrown about 85 feet.

The next day, a witness told police that the car involved in the accident – which the witness had sold to Boyatt – was parked in a parking lot near her home. When officers investigated, they found blood and other evidence on the shattered windshield.

On July 6, Boyatt was found at a campground near Grantsville and taken into custody there. According to police, Boyatt “changed his story several times, but eventually admitted he recognized Victor Hershberger as the person he hit with his car.”

According to a probable cause statement, Boyatt said he recently learned that his ex-girlfriend and Hershberger had filed a protection order against him.

Boyatt is being held without bail in the Salt Lake County Jail. His first court date is scheduled for Thursday.

Justin Scaccy

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