A Davis County sheriff’s deputy is being praised for his quick thinking — and fleet feet — after rescuing an unconscious driver and a toddler on Interstate 15.
Deputy Matt Boucher was responding to several 911 calls about a reckless driver on Sunday, Aug. 26, when the incident unfolded. The driver — reportedly slumped over the steering wheel — had crashed into a traffic barrier in Centerville before entering the southbound lanes of I-15.
The Standard-Examiner reports that Boucher had been running radar checks on the nearby Legacy Highway when the calls came in. He drove toward the driver’s last known location and noticed other vehicles on I-15 maneuvering around the slow-moving Mazda sedan near 400 North in West Bountiful. By this time, the car also had a flat tire and was traveling at no more than 5 mph.
Boucher stopped his squad car and raced to the driver’s side on foot, reached through the open window and pulled the emergency brake, finally stopping the car. In the back seat he discovered a 3-year-old girl, strapped in a child seat and asleep. The male driver was unconscious but soon roused himself — only to lose consciousness again while paramedics examined him.
The child was released to the custody of her mother, the Standard-Examiner reported.
Exactly what caused the man to black out remained under investigation. Utah Highway Patrol Cpl. Todd Johnson said the driver was cited, however, for allegedly violating an vehicle interlock restriction order, driving on a denied driver’s license and improper lane travel.
Interlock restriction devices are most often ordered in cases where drivers have previously operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Such devices, which are wired to the ignition, require the driver to provide a breath sample before the engine will start.