Joe Levi:
a cross-discipline, multi-dimensional problem solver who thinks outside the box – but within reality™

When is hit-and-run okay? When you're a Utah Highway Patrol Officer

Is the Utah Highway Patrol above the law? It seems that way.

According to a story by the Salt Lake Tribune’s  Sheena McFarland, an Idaho family was travelling on I-15 through Murray on the way to St. George for Thanksgiving when an on-duty Utah Highway Patrol trooper sideswiped them.

The unnamed trooper was apparently attempting to slow traffic to facilitate the clearing of road debris this morning by weaving across all lanes of traffic, which is the official procedure for slowing traffic according to Trooper Todd Johnson of the Utah Highway Patrol.

Unfortunately the trooper didn’t see them and crashed into the passenger-side of the Burgess’ van, which was carrying three small children at the time. After the collision the van ended up crossing a lane of traffic before coming to a stop on the left shoulder.

The driver did what you and are required to do: she stopped. The UHP trooper? He kept on going. It was more than 15 minutes before another law-enforcement officer arrived and asked if they were witnesses to the trooper’s crash.

After filling out the required paperwork they were directed off the freeway to a gas station near 7200 South. That’s where the trooper that hit them finally showed up, apologized, and wished them good luck.

“I think he said good luck because they aren’t helping us out,” Burgess said. Mrs. Burgess was taken by her husband to a local hospital for head and neck X-Rays. The van is leaking antifreeze, the passenger side is smashed in.

Since the collision happened within the Murray city limits, Murray City Police Department is investigating the crash. They haven’t issued any citations or screened any charges yet, according to Murray Detective Kenny Bass.

In the meantime, we call on the Murray City Police Department to file formal “leaving the scene” charges against the trooper involved in today’s accident and ask for assurances from the Utah Highway Patrol that their insurance will cover all damages, repairs, medical bills, and provide the Burgess family with a rental van until their vehicle is repaired.


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