Gov. Cox recalls heroic actions of four officers on day of Sgt. Bill Hooser’s death

May 13, 2024, 6:24 PM | Updated: May 14, 2024, 6:34 am

OREM Four additional Utah officers are being hailed as heroes for their actions the day that Santaquin Police Sgt. Bill Hooser died.

Gov. Spencer Cox spoke Monday at Hooser’s funeral, revealing the names of four additional officers who helped to stop the suspect who is accused of hitting and killing Hooser on May 5.

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

“This despicable human being was trying to cause more death on that road, trying purposely to hit other oncoming, oncoming cars, citizens racing to get out of the way,” Cox said.

According to Cox, Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Dustin Griffiths was the trooper who provided backup to Hooser as he pulled over Michael Jayne on the northbound lanes of Interstate 15 near the Santaquin Main Street exit. Jayne is now accused of killing Hooser after making a U-turn and striking him with his semitruck. A probable cause statement details that Griffiths was also almost hit that day.

“They were racing to protect a woman who was being held against her will when this tragedy, evil occurred. Trooper Griffiths was there. No stranger to tragedy and did everything he could in that moment,” Cox said.

Hundreds of miles from the scene

No where near the scene and hundreds of miles away in the Uinta Basin, the governor recounts Utah Highway Patrol trooper Brock Lewis and officer Corey Reid of the Roosevelt Police Department who were having breakfast. The two raced out after hearing the statewide calls about a fallen officer and suspect who fled.

“None of us thought that this fugitive was going that direction, but Trooper Lewis felt something, something called to him,” the governor said. “Thirty seconds later, the fugitive passed him on the highway. Officer Reid came in behind and they began a pursuit.”

Gov. Spencer Cox speaks to media prior to funeral services for Santaquin Police Sgt. Bill Hooser at the UCCU Center at UVU in Orem on Monday, May 13, 2024.

“At times, Officer Reid was on his own pursuing this evil human being who had taken the life of one of their brethren,” he said.

Then, the governor recalls UHP Cpl. Scott Major racing to catch Jayne and pursuing officers at speeds over 100 miles per hour, likely preventing the suspect from hitting more people.

A pit maneuver eventually stopped the suspect in Vernal.

Cox says these officers saved lives that day.

“I share that because there are heroes all amongst us every day doing this kind of work. This blue line is real. It is the line between order and chaos. It is the line between good and evil. And every day, those of you who wear the badge step into that breach, step into that line, and we take it for granted every day,” Cox said.

“And I pray that today will be a reminder to every one of us to not take it for granted. I pray that we will learn that lesson that other families don’t have to suffer as this family is suffering today.”

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Gov. Cox recalls heroic actions of four officers on day of Sgt. Bill Hooser’s death