UHP Trooper Injured On I-215 While Investigating Abandoned Vehicle

Aug 1, 2021, 9:19 AM | Updated: 4:32 pm
UHP Trooper Hit...
(Utah Highway Patrol)
(Utah Highway Patrol)

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — A trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol and three others were taken to the hospital after an SUV slammed into the back of the trooper’s car on I-215.

It was a wild set of circumstances Sunday morning.

A woman called for help just before 5:30 a.m. after she was hit by a driver on the northbound side of I-215 westbound, near 2800 South.

While the UHP trooper was responding to the auto-pedestrian crash, he spotted an abandoned vehicle on the southbound side of the freeway, so the Sergeant drove over to check it out.

“Thinking it might be related to the pedestrian on the freeway,” said Lt. Nick Swallow with UHP.

But just as the trooper pulled up behind the abandoned car, someone else showed up on the side of the road.

“Another SUV came up behind him, driving on the shoulder, didn’t brake at all, and slammed into the back of his patrol vehicle,” said Swallow.

Like a domino effect, troopers said the SUV pushed the patrol vehicle into the abandoned car, squeezing it into the next lane.

But that wasn’t all, the SUV kept going. 

“It continued southbound on the shoulder and crashed into the abandoned vehicle,” said Swallow.

The driver of the SUV was flown to the hospital in critical condition.

Troopers said two other people with him suffered minor injuries.

“I’m not sure how fast he was going,” said Swallow. “Obviously, he was going at freeway speeds and there was no breaking.”

UHP officials said the trooper is doing well, adding that his injuries were not life-threatening.

“He has some good company right now and a lot of good support,” he said. “So, he’s going to be fine, definitely have a lot of pain and some injuries.”

Troopers suspect the driver was under the influence.

“Don’t plan to drive your car if you drink alcohol because it affects your life as well as others when you do this,” said Swallow.

As for what happened to the woman who was hit in the initial crash, we don’t know.

Troopers said at some point during all the confusion on the other side, she got up and hitched a ride from an unknown car.

They still don’t know who she is, however, they did find that she was not connected to the abandoned car.

The West Valley City Police Department is investigating the crash.

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UHP Trooper Injured On I-215 While Investigating Abandoned Vehicle