Trooper risks own safety to hit, stop car of wrong-way driver

DAVIS COUNTY, June 2, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Just before 1 a.m. Wednesday, Utah Highway Patrol got multiple calls about a wrong-way driver, heading north on west Interstate 215 while traveling in a southbound lane.

The potential for head-on collisions was high, and the fact that vehicles were traveling at highway speeds raised the odds of a fatality.

“Callers first saw the vehicle between 3500 South and SR-201,” a Utah Highway Patrol statement says. “Trooper R. Jensen responded to the area and located it just before the Legacy Highway split on I-215 West.”

Jensen was able to get ahead of the vehicle “to successfully intercept it near Center Street as it continued wrong way on Legacy Highway,” the account says.

A trooper clips a car driving going north on a southbound lane in Davis County. Screen grab/UHP video.

Intercepting the car, which did not slow down, meant the officer clipped the wrong-way Acura with his patrol car, and risking his own serious injury.

“The impact forced the Acura off the roadway and into a shallow pond West of Legacy Parkway, as well as disabling Trooper Jensen’s patrol car. The driver was an elderly male in his 70’s who was confused with his location on the freeway.”

Both and the elderly male sustained non life-threatening injuries in the crash and were cleared by medical on scene, the statement says. View the video above and a map below.

This map shows the approximate distance a wrong-way driver traveled north in a southbound lane. Image: Google Maps

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