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A Cedar City man has been charged with two counts of third-degree felony automobile homicide stemming from a crash earlier this month that claimed the lives of two men.

Dyllon Marc Mercado, 22, also faces a class B misdemeanor count of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

An initial court appearance was set for Monday before 5th District Judge Eric Ludlow in St. George.

Mercado has been free on $10,000 bail since the Sept. 10 crash on northbound Interstate 15, 8 miles north of Toquerville, that killed his passengers, 25-year-old Nigel J. Chavez and 26-year-old Matthew Chavez.

The Utah Highway Patrol reported that Mercado was driving a car as it approached a slow-moving semi-trailer rig in the right lane just before 4 p.m. on Sept. 10. He swerved left but still struck the trailer, which then sliced through the car, killing the Chavezes — one of them sitting up front and the other in the rear passenger seat.

Mercado escaped with minor injuries, UHP said. The semi's driver was unhurt.

A probable cause statement filed earlier this week claims that Mercado admitted to troopers that he had been drinking. He allegedly failed a field sobriety test, and then blew a 0.118 — exceeding the state's 0.08 limit — on a subsequent blood-alcohol content test, prosecutors claim.

Twitter: @remims