SALT LAKE CITY – A crash during a police chase through the Salt Lake area resulted in the death of a woman sitting in a vehicle not involved in the pursuit.
Around noon Saturday, North Salt Lake Police received a report that two men in a Ford F-250 were drinking alcohol and driving erratically. The caller said they passed back and forth what appeared to be a bottle of whiskey.
Officers spotted the truck on southbound US 89 and tried to stop a traffic, but the driver did not pull over and led them on a chase.
The truck drove onto Southbound Interstate 15 and then left Salt Salt City. The pursuit ended when the truck hit a smaller car head-on near 1200 west and 500 north in the Rose Park area.
Two women were in the car that was hit. One of them died while the other was life-threateningly injured.
The two men in the truck were also injured, but they are expected to recover.
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Officers from other Davis County agencies were also involved in the prosecution, and a team of investigators from various Salt Lake County police departments are working at the scene.
Social media users as well as callers to the FOX 13 editorial office have questioned why officers continued to chase the suspects through a residential area.
A North Salt Lake Police spokesman said such decisions are made on a case-by-case basis as these situations develop and officers or supervisors can cancel a prosecution if they feel it is becoming too dangerous.
“There is always some concern. The reason for the persecution must outweigh public safety [risk]”Sergeant Mitch Gwilliam said.” It is also something we review internally, along with the investigation of the crash and DUI. “
He added that even if they can withdraw their officers from the hunt, it does not always mean that the suspect or suspects would slow down.
Gwilliam also said the suspects are in the hospital but he expects punishment will be imposed. These will be determined at a later date once the investigators have gathered the evidence. Prosecutors will also have to decide where the charges would be filed when the initial reports and prosecution were in Davis County, but the fatal crash happened in Salt Lake County.
The victim’s name will not be made public until her family has been notified.
“Our condolences go to the families of the victims and the victims themselves,” Gwilliam said. “This is a very unfortunate situation in which they became involved, not according to their will.”
This article will be updated if there are further details or developments.