DRAPER, Utah, Dec. 28, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — The people of Draper — along with an extended family of first responders — are breathing a sigh of relief upon learning a battalion chief who appeared to be critically injured after being struck by a car on Interstate 15 Thursday night is expected to make a full recovery.
Battalion Chief Bart Vawdrey was outside his vehicle responding to a crash on southbound I-15 near 14600 South about 8 p.m. when he was struck by a passing driver.
The freeway was shut down while a LifeFlight helicopter flew Vawdrey to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray where he was initially reported in critical condition.
At 10:30 p.m. the Utah Highway Patrol announced via Twitter that Vawdrey was not seriously injured.
“Great news! Our firefighter brother is doing great! Reports are that he doesn’t have any severe injuries,” the UHP said.
Friday morning Draper Fire Chief Clint Smith released a statement confirming Vawdrey’s recovery.
“Last night Battalion Chief Bart Vawdrey was struck by a vehicle on I-15 while tending to victims involved in car accident. Battalion Chief Vawdrey was treated by his own crews from Draper City Fire Department and transported by LifeFlight to Intermountain Medical Center. We are extremely grateful that his injuries are not life threatening and that he will make a full recovery. Battalion Chief Vawdrey’s injuries could have been avoided by simply slowing down for the current weather conditions and paying attention to the surroundings.
“Firefighters and law Enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day for the protection of others. We plead with everyone to please slow down , eliminate distractions, and focus on their surroundings when traveling in adverse weather conditions. Please watch out for our firefighters and police officers that are working on the roadways to keep us all safe and move over to give them the safe area they need to perform their duties. It is a miracle that we are able to talk about awareness today and not what the outcome could have been. Thank you to the overwhelming outpouring of support that Draper City Fire Department has received on behalf of Battalion Chief Vawdrey and his family.”