Identity Released Of Victim Killed During American Fork Pursuit
AMERICAN FORK, Utah – It was an expired registration that prompted a deputy from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office to pursue a man on Friday. During the pursuit, the suspect ran a red light and slammed into another vehicle, resulted in the death of an innocent victim.
Officials said the driver, 21-year-old Trevor Pitcher, was behind the wheel of a pickup truck, and led a Utah County Sheriff’s deputy on a three and a half mile chase, after taking off from a routine traffic stop, for expired registration.
“He said he was worried this truck would be impounded and (thought) if he ran the officers would stop,” said Sgt. Josh Christensen with the American Fork Police Department.
Court documents showed that Pitcher admitted to detectives he was going at least 50 miles per hour when he ran the red light, ending in a violent collision.
Police identified the victim as 88-year-old Hal Gadd, of American Fork. While his wife was initially reported to be in good condition, doctors later found she suffered internal injuries. She remains in the hospital Monday night, in serious condition.
American Fork police, who were not involved in the pursuit, have asked for the public’s help in the investigation.
“We are asking for anyone who may have seen this pursuit and has video, as it is common for private vehicles to have dash cameras or cell phones. If anyone has any video evidence of the pursuit or the crash,” said Sgt. Christensen.
Pitcher was booked into jail on charges of manslaughter, instead of automobile homicide, for what police call recklessness. He remained in the Utah County Jail on $25,000 bond.
“We have still been in contact with the victim’s family. Our hearts go out to them, not only have they lost a loved one. They are supporting and fighting a battle with another loved one who is still in the hospital with serious injuries,” Sgt. Christensen added.
The chase was the second in two weeks where a Utah County sheriff’s deputy pursued a vehicle, and the chase resulted in the death of an innocent bystander.
A 17-year-old girl was killed on June 30 in Santaquin in the other chase.
Officials within the Utah County Sheriff’s Office have again declined to comment about whether or not they planned to revisit their pursuit policy, in light of these two deaths of innocent bystanders.
Funeral services for Hal Gadd are planned for Thursday in American Fork.
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