Newly released videos document runaway semi crashes in Tooele
Nov 6, 2023, 10:30 PM | Updated: Nov 7, 2023, 10:51 am
TOOELE — Police on Monday released numerous dash camera, body camera and surveillance camera sources that captured an apparent runaway semitruck as it crashed through cars at multiple intersections before plowing into a car dealership.
The chain of events Friday left 11 people injured, including one critically. It also left at least 32 cars and the semi either damaged or destroyed.
“How this didn’t end up in a fatality is shocking,” said Lt. Jeremy Hansen with the Tooele Police Department, noting the woman who was critically injured is expected to survive.
Hansen said another semi with a dash camera captured the first crash between the runaway semi and three other cars at the intersection of Vine and Main Street.
What the video captured
The video shows the semi veering around cars stopped at the light and briefly into a southbound lane before making impact in the intersection.
Surveillance cameras then captured the semi heading north along a sidewalk near 200 N. Main Street before another blurry surveillance video source documented the second collision involving two cars at 400 N. Main Street.
“Here comes the semi right through the intersection,” Hansen pointed.
Hansen said he was returning to the police station following an unrelated call when he and another officer were stopped in traffic southbound near 1000 N. Main Street.
There, a semi dash camera and another officer’s dash camera both captured the semi impacting cars, flipping a couple into the air, before the runaway semi caught fire as it plowed into the parking lot of Tooele Motor Company, ultimately catching the building on fire.
The flames could be seen on Hansen’s own body camera as he rushed into the lot to check on the driver of the truck, who had managed to walk away from the vehicle.
“I didn’t think there was any way the driver made it out of that,” Hansen said.
His body camera also captured the sounds of multiple explosions sparked by fire.
“This spread us super thin, so for the community to come together, seeing the citizens grab the first-aid kits out of their vehicles and start rendering aid while we’re waiting for fire units to respond, the ambulances to respond, we had Dugway Fire, North Tooele Fire, Mountain West, Gold Cross even helped to come to the hospital afterward to transfer patients out, this was a community effort between all first-responders,” Hansen said. “We’ve never had an accident of this scale in the city in my 17 years here.”
Hansen said state investigators were still reviewing what happened to determine what went wrong, though the preliminary indication was the brakes failed on the runaway semi.
Despite all the property damage, Hansen said he and others were grateful nobody was killed in the crashes.
“We’re truly blessed it wasn’t worse than what it was,” Hansen said.