LOCAL NEWS

Utah man hit by vehicle at airport; police say driver lost control of rental car

Dec 31, 2022, 12:22 PM | Updated: 3:19 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah father is recovering in the hospital after he was hit by a car that plowed into multiple vehicles at the airport.

David Harmer, 60, was at Salt Lake City International Airport Monday morning renting a car. As he was walking to his rental car in the parking garage, he heard a loud noise behind him.

“I heard this engine roaring and wheel squealing and I turned around just in time,” Harmer said. “I was smashed between a 3,800-pound vehicle and a 5,000-pound vehicle. I knew instantly that my pelvis was broken.”

Salt Lake police said the driver, a rental car company employee, was moving the vehicle, which had handicap driving accessibility features in it, when he lost control. He crashed into several parked cars and pushed another car into Harmer.

Police said the driver was cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

“The paramedics estimate that he was going at least 40 mph and the car that injured me was heading at least going 20 mph,” Harmer said. “They said had I been any smaller or less muscular, they would not have expected me to survive.”

Good Samaritans came to Harmer’s aid, including a third-year medical student visiting Utah from Alabama. He called Harmer’s wife, Elayne, who rushed back to the airport where she had just dropped off her husband.

“It was horrific. I mean, you don’t want to see your husband lying on the ground with paramedics,” Elayne said.

Harmer’s pelvis was broken in three places. His recovery in the hospital has been slow but steady.

Harmer said support from his family is helping him get through it all.

“A couple of the kids have even been staying nights, along with Elayne, so they’ve been wonderful,” he said.

Through this accident, he hopes all drivers will learn to be aware of their surroundings and know how to operate the vehicle they intend to drive.

“If that had happened to an average customer, they would be dead,” he said. “Their family would be planning a funeral.”

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Utah man hit by vehicle at airport; police say driver lost control of rental car