West Valley City Police asking for community's help identifying driver in hit and run

Posted at 12:05 PM, Apr 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 23:58:13-04

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Officers face multiple unknowns after a hit and run Sunday sent a bicyclist to the hospital.

On Sunday April 10th at approximately 1:45 p.m. a driver in a dark grey SUV ran a red light at 4800 W and 4100 S and hit a man in a crosswalk, according to West Valley City Police.

“This vehicle didn't have any license plates on it," said Roxeanne Vainuku, Public Information Officer. "So we can't even try to take advantage of technology to see what those plates were. All we have at this point is just kind of this vague description of a vehicle. And of course, we're dealing with cameras that are a distance away from that intersection and not really able to hone in."

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Officers are begging the community to help them find the reckless driver.

“What we're really concerned about here is not just the fact that a person ran a red light, but that this person hit a human being on a bicycle and did not stop, did not render aid to that person, did not call for help for that person, just took off and left the scene," said Vainuku. "That's the really troublesome part."

Officers can't know for sure why this driver ran the red light at the intersection, but people have complained about an increase in drivers running through red lights in recent winters because of a change in lightbulbs.

“We do use LED lights," said Mitch Shaw, spokesman for UDOT. "And they're basically better than the old incandescent bulbs in every way, other than they don't radiate as much heat,mso that can lead to some snow accumulation on the lights during specific type of storms.”

LED lights will typically last 15 years, whereas the old, traditional incandescent bulbs would last maybe a year, according to UDOT technicians.

“They cost less," said Shaw. "They can be on battery backup. So the led lights are better in every way, other than just they don't radiate heat like the old incandescent bulb, so it's kind of a trade-off. We figure the benefits far outweigh the costs.”

In a winter storm, UDOT can change the lights at intersections and make them all just flashing red, and drivers should treat them like a four-way stop.

“If people happen to see a traffic light that's one on one of our state roads that is covered in snow, they should contact us," said Shaw. "Or even call 911, because that's an emergency."

Even in a storm, there’s no excuse; people shouldn’t be running through red lights, he said.