Police investigate whether same driver is responsible for multiple hit-and-runs

Mar 18, 2024, 10:57 PM | Updated: Mar 19, 2024, 6:04 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Police confirmed Monday they were investigating whether the same driver was responsible for multiple hit-and-run collisions.

Anh Pham, 26, was arrested last week after a hit-and-run collision near 600 W. North Temple in which investigators wrote that it appeared the driver was “targeting” pedestrians.

Police: Man suspected of ‘targeting’ pedestrian during life-threatening hit-and-run crash

The woman who was hit was left with critical injuries, according to Salt Lake City police.

According to a jail probable cause statement, detectives were able to piece together remnants of the car left at the scene, video evidence and data from a license plate reader to track down a 1999 Toyota Avalon driven by Pham that had damage police said was “consistent with a pedestrian strike.”

Pham told officers it wasn’t him or that he did not remember the collision, court documents stated.

He was booked on suspicion of felony aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury and failure to remain at an accident involving serious injury.

The arrest followed other recent unsolved hit-and-runs in Sandy and Sugar House.

On Feb. 24, Jocelyn Peirce and her 16-year-old daughter Madalyn were walking north on the shoulder of 1700 East near 11490 South when police said a white car struck them and left the scene.

Police: Man suspected of ‘targeting’ pedestrian during life-threatening hit-and-run crash

On Feb. 28, Martha Knudsen and Janette Brummett said they were walking near the intersection of Douglas Street and Laird Avenue when a white sedan hit them from behind.

Sugar House hit and run victims speak out

“The car hit the accelerator and aimed right for us,” Knudsen told KSL TV in a March 1 report.

On Monday, SLCPD said in a joint statement they were investigating whether Pham was connected to multiple incidents.

“Area law enforcement, including the Sandy Police Department, Salt Lake City Police Department, and the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office are investigating to determine whether 26-year-old Anh Pham may be connected to other vehicular aggravated assaults,” the statement read. “To protect the integrity of these investigations, specific information about the cases under review cannot be released.”

Sandy police did confirm to KSL that the Feb. 24 hit-and-run was among the incidents investigators were reviewing.

Peirce also said she had been contacted by detectives about that possibility.

“I have a hard time wrapping my head around that — that someone could just look for people to hit,” Peirce said. “It’s hard to believe that someone would do that.”

She said that she was grateful that a suspect was in custody.

“I’m just so grateful he’s where he can’t hurt anybody else,” Peirce said.

Peirce, who suffered a fractured skull among other injuries, said that the ordeal had made her apprehensive about her passion for outside walks.

“It’s going to be hard to start them up again when I am able,” Peirce said. “I think it will be emotionally challenging.”

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Police investigate whether same driver is responsible for multiple hit-and-runs