Family of fallen Santaquin officer: ‘He died doing a job he loved’

May 12, 2024, 11:08 PM | Updated: 11:12 pm

SANATQUIN The family of a fallen Santaquin police officer who was hit and killed by a semitruck driver a week ago says he wasn’t even supposed to be working that morning and was filling in for another officer.

A public viewing was held for Sgt. Bill Hooser, 50, at Apple Valley Elementary School on Sunday evening. Dozens of people came out to pay their respects to a man being called a hero who died doing what he loved.

Semitruck driver hits, kills Utah officer, police say; driver in custody after hourslong manhunt

Hooser’s brother, two sister-in-laws and a brother-in-law spoke to the media at the elementary school talking about the incredible legacy he left behind.

Doing what he loved to do

“This day is tough. He died doing a job that he loved,” said Randy Hooser, a brother. “He was more than just a cop. He was bigger than life. Everything he did was big.”

“He was like one of my best friends,” said Troy Starley, a brother-in-law. “It’s going to be a hole in my life, a long, long time.”

“I will miss him so much. This is terrible for our family and our hearts are shattered. It’s going to be a hard one to get past,” said Lynn Starley, a sister-in-law.

“The things that made Bill, a wonderful cop, a wonderful police officer also made him a wonderful human being. That’s who we’re grieving today. He leaves behind two beautiful daughters, a granddaughter, a wife, brothers, sisters,” said Jodie Hooser, a sister-in-law. “I think one of the words that we can all use to sum up Bill is passion. He was so passionate about everything that he did.”

“Bill wasn’t even scheduled to be on that morning, he was covering for another officer,” Troy Starley said. “Bill was bigger than life. And the tribute that he’s getting here is amazing.”

“He put out nothing but kindness and love to all of us. And we’re not sure how we move on without him. We’re not sure yet. But one step at a time,” Jodie Hooser said

The family said the tragic experience gave them a whole new appreciation for the men and women in blue.

“This whole tragic thing, just let you know that those people are out there every day putting their lives on the line, so that we, you know, we can do what we do,” Troy Starley said. “All I can say is thank you to all of the badgers, and men and women that go out and do this every day, it puts a whole different light on what they do give you a whole new respect for it.”

The body of Hooser, alongside his family, will be brought from Santaquin to Orem on Monday morning for his funeral service.

That procession will begin in Santaquin at 8:30 a.m. Funeral services for Hooser will begin Monday at 10 a.m. at the UCCU Center at Utah Valley University in Orem. Doors will open to the public at 8 a.m. Following the funeral services, a procession will take the body of Hooser back to Santaquin to his final resting place at the Santaquin City Cemetery.

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Family of fallen Santaquin officer: ‘He died doing a job he loved’