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Man recalls saving UHP trooper who was hit during storm

Posted at 10:06 PM, Apr 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-04 09:31:35-04

CACHE COUNTY, Utah - “You don't know what to say, so I tried to think of police shows I had seen. What’s the lingo, what's the language you use, and I just finally started talking,” said Darren Hellstern.

It was a couple weeks ago when Hellstern was driving home to Smithfield from St. George.  The roads were fine until he reached Sardine Canyon.

There, cars were sliding off due to a snowstorm.  Hellstern even watched as a truck tipped over on its side, so he stopped to help.

“As I was getting the driver out, I could hear a sound of a sliding,” Hellstern recalled.

That sliding was a car out of control, barreling towards Sgt. Cade Brenchley of the Utah Highway Patrol.

The car threw Brenchley  20 feet into another car. While Hellstern didn’t see it, he did hear it.

Dash camera from the patrol car showed Hellstern running to the sergeant's side.

“I'm by his head, at this point I’m trying his radio,” Hellstern said.

But the radio wasn't working.

“He told me at the time to go into his patrol car and call for help where there's a radio there,” Darren said.

You can see Darren running through the snow, and getting into the driver’s side of the patrol car.

“I was a little nervous because I didn't know what to do,” Hellstern said. “He told me a code to use but I got in the police car and I totally forgot what to say."

Hellstern gave it a try.

“Copy anyone on?” he said over the radio.

“Who you looking for?” A trooper responded.

“I need an ambulance one of your officers have been hit by a car,” Hellstern said over the radio.

Darren was relieved to hear someone, but little did he know he was on the wrong radio.

Thankfully, a nearby trooper happened to be tuned in and relayed everything Hellstern said to dispatch.

“Nobody was hearing me except for him so that's why he was repeating it,” Hellstern said.

Finally, minutes later, Hellstern waved down the ambulance.

After seeing the video, Hellstern can't believe the sergeant is alive.

“It was just one of those things, you cringe, and you don't know if you want to see it again,” Hellstern said.

Miraculously, the trooper only had four broken ribs and a broken shoulder blade. As for Hellstern, he's grateful he stopped on that snowy Sunday.

“Being in the right place and the right time, it's an obligation you have to help when something happens,” he said.