One critically injured after car crashes into Taylorsville home; police searching for suspect

Sep 8, 2021, 6:30 AM | Updated: Sep 9, 2021, 12:55 pm

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — A family was displaced and a woman was critically injured when a car crashed into a home following a police chase through parts of Salt Lake County.

Chief Brady Cottam with the Taylorsville Police Department said officers noticed the vehicle, which was reported stolen by Murray police, Wednesday morning.

Taylorsville officers attempted to stop the vehicle, which pulled over into a cul-de-sac.

“Our officer pulled up to the vehicle and was going to initiate a high-risk stop, and then the vehicle and the driver decided to ram the police car,” Cottam said. “Our officer felt like that they ran from one police department and maybe now that they knew that they were surrounded, that they were going to give up that was his indication. But they chose to ram that officer and flee.”

Officers lost track of the vehicle until it crashed into a home near 1300 West and 6920 South.

“One female passenger was located in the passenger seat still and the driver had fled on foot,” Cottam said.

Officers remained at the scene to help the woman, who was critically injured in the crash. Cottam said she was not cooperating with officers.

Cottam added they do not believe the male suspect is armed and he could face felony charges of fleeing the scene of a crime, possession of a stolen vehicle and aggravated assault on an officer.

Police did not release a description of the suspect and said the family that lives in the home that was struck by the vehicle has been displaced.

John Pappadakis was drifting off to sleep when the driver of the stolen car slammed through the wall of his front guest bedroom.

“It sounded like an explosion or someone shooting something big, like a cannon,” Pappadakis said. “I have never heard something sound like that in my life.”

Pappadakis and his wife Carolyn Pappadakis use walkers to navigate their home. They were startled out of bed to find their neighborhood all aglow with cop lights and multiple agencies using K-9 units.

“I counted 30 patrol cars. There was a girl too who was caught in this mess. She looked 14. She was stuck under the dashboard. She screamed for about two hours until responders could get her out,” John Pappadakis said.

He said crews cut off the door to remove the passenger who had been pinned and badly hurt.

“It was crazy,” Pappadakis said. “Crews were here for six hours.”

Originally, inspectors told the Pappadakis family they needed to leave for fear the gas line had been hit. Once deemed safe, the couple was allowed to stay in their boarded-up house.

They were left with a mess: broken pipes, a flooded basement, shattered glass, torn wires, debris and boarded-up holes.

“I just hope it can be repaired completely. So we can have our home restored. This home holds so many memories because we have lived in it for so long,” Carolyn Pappadakis said. “I was frightened. It was a lot to wake up to.”

The couple, now in their 70s, remained optimistic — adding they wished the suspect, who led police on a high-speed chase across multiple cities, would be found.

“Why didn’t he crash where he started, instead of coming to my house?” John Pappadakis said with a half-smile. “It definitely makes for a very interesting story!”

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One critically injured after car crashes into Taylorsville home; police searching for suspect