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Uninvolved woman killed, another critically injured in crash during police chase with DUI suspects

Posted at 4:05 PM, Oct 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-17 00:47:23-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A crash during a police chase through the Salt Lake area resulted in the death of a woman who was in a vehicle not involved in the pursuit.

Around noon on Saturday, North Salt Lake Police received a report that two men in a Ford F-250 were drinking alcohol and driving erratically. The caller said they were passing back and forth what appeared to be a bottle of whiskey.

Officers spotted the truck on southbound U.S. 89 and attempted a traffic stop, but the driver did not pull over and led them on a chase.

The truck went onto southbound Interstate 15, then exited in Salt Lake City. The pursuit ended when the truck hit a nother vehicle near 1200 West and 500 North in the Rose Park area.

Two women were in the vehicle that was hit. One of them died, while the other suffered life-threatening injuries.

The two men in the truck were also injured, but they are expected to recover.

READ: Two dead, two injured in Orem crash

Officers from other agencies in Davis County were also involved in the pursuit, and a team of investigators from various Salt Lake County police departments are working on the crash scene.

Officials say the police vehicles involved in the chase had dashcams, and they expect footage from those to be part of the investigation. However, they are also asking anyone else with video of the chase or crash to help provide more angles.

SLCPD is asking those with video of the incident — especially outdoor doorbell cameras or other security cameras — to contact them at 801-799-3000 and reference case number 21-190757. They are specifically requesting those along 1200 West between 500-1000 North between 12 p.m. to 12:20 p.m.

Social media users, as well as callers to the FOX 13 newsroom, have questioned why officers continued to chase the suspects through a residential area.

A North Salt Lake Police spokesperson said such decisions are made on a case-by-case, ongoing basis as these situations develop, and officers or supervisors are able to call off a pursuit if they feel it is becoming too dangerous.

"There's always some concern. The reason for the pursuit needs to outweigh the public safety [risk]," Sgt. Mitch Gwilliam said. "That is something also that we are reviewing internally, alongside the investigation into the crash and the DUI."

He added that while they can pull their officers back from the chase, that doesn't always mean the suspect(s) would slow down.

Gwilliam also said the suspects are in the hospital, but he expects there will be criminal charges. Those will be determined at a later time once investigators have put together the evidence. Prosecutors will also need to decide where the charges would be filed as the initial reports and pursuit were in Davis County, but the fatal crash happened in Salt Lake County.

The victim's name will not be released until her family has been notified.

"Our condolences go out to the families of the victims and the victims themselves," Gwilliam said. "This is a very unfortunate situation that they got involved in, not at their will."

This article will be updated if any further details or developments are provided.