BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah – A Utah Highway Patrol trooper was critically injured in an accident in Box Elder County.
According to a statement released Saturday morning from Sgt. Todd Royce, Trooper Eric Ellsworth stopped to assist with a downed power line at 13600 North on SR-13, near Garland City.
"Trooper Ellsworth was trying to get the attention of a semi driver," said Sgt. Royce. "To try and get him to slow down so he didn’t snag those power lines."
Trooper Ellsworth exited his patrol vehicle and was attempting to slow traffic when he was struck by a vehicle traveling southbound on SR-13, according to the statement.
"Another car heading in the opposite direction hit him," Sgt Royce added.
Trooper Ellsworth sustained severe injuries and was transported to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, where he is listed in extremely critical condition with his family by his side.
Highway patrol says the driver of the car is a 16-year-old female who was cooperating with the investigation. Troopers determined she was not impaired or distracted at the time.
“I'd like to reiterate that this is the beginning of the investigation," Sgt Royce said. "We do not know what the teenage girl was thinking or doing. This could have been one of those cases where it’s just a tragic accident.”
The Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office is handling the crash investigation.
A fundraising account has been set up to assist the Ellsworth family with costs in the wake of the crash. Donations can be made at America First Credit Union under the "Eric Ellsworth Family Charitable account."