SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah, July 15, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake police officials are thanking a “guardian angel” after an incident in which a motorcycle officer was hit with flying debris after a crash Monday morning.
South Salt Lake Officer Jorgensen was parked in the driveway behind the sidewalk of the Harley-Davidson store at 2928 S. State St. running radar, at approximately 6:50 a.m., SSL spokesman Gary Keller told Gephardt Daily.
For an unknown reason, a woman in a white car drove up next to the motorcycle officer, parked north of him, and began a conversation, Keller said.
Just a few moments later, Keller said, a red pickup truck came barreling down State Street heading southbound at a high rate of speed and weaving in and out of lanes.
Keller said the officer and the woman then saw a cloud of dust and it became clear that the truck had taken out a fire hydrant and a light pole.
The fire hydrant flew between 30 and 60 feet, crashing through the back window of the white car that the woman was in.
The light pole also went flying, with the light itself grazing the motorcycle officer’s head just as he managed to jump out of the way.
Keller said the pole diverted the path of the pickup truck, causing it to veer away from the officer and into the side of the Tint Factory Store, at 2935 S. State, on the east side of State Street.
Keller said even though the officer had been hit on the head by the light, he ran over to the pickup truck to render possible first aid. It was then he realized the driver had taken off, running southbound on State Street before being captured by other officers arriving at the scene.
The motorcycle officer had bumps and abrasions and was transported to the hospital.
The woman in the white car was checked out on scene and did not need to be transported.
Keller said the incident would likely have been a lot worse if the woman in the white car had not stopped to talk to the officer. He said it was her car that ended up shielding the officer from most of the flying debris.
“It didn’t appear that they knew each other,” he said. “I understand she may live in Cordelia Avenue, which is just north of the Harley-Davidson store. It’s almost as if she was a guardian angel or something.”
Keller said there was also evidence of a second guardian angel, as the light pole was adorned with a banner commemorating recently fallen South Salt Lake Police Officer David Romrell.
“Ironically, the pole that deflected the vehicle had a David Romrell banner hanging on it,” Keller said. “You could say divine intervention! Or even possibly Officer David Romrell still has our back!”
The area was shut down for nearly three hours, but State Street has now reopened and traffic is running normally.
Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.