Wrong-way driver triggers UHP chase on I-80, I-15
Published: December 7, 2012 01:14PM
Updated: December 10, 2012 09:21AM
The termination point (5300 S) of a wrong way driver from Dec. 7 on I-80 and I-15. Courtesy UHP

Utah Highway Patrol troopers took a man into custody late Friday morning after a prolonged, wrong-way chase on Salt Lake Valley interstate freeways.

UHP Cpl. Todd Johnson said the drama began at 10:26 a.m. when the male suspect was spotted by a trooper driving straight at him, westbound in the eastbound lanes Interstate 80 near 700 East. The driver sped past the trooper, then merged onto I-15, going northbound in the southbound lanes.

With troopers now in pursuit, the driver continued driving the wrong way on I-15, causing two crashes — a minor injury collision at 3100 South and a non-injury accident at 3300 South — as motorists swerved to avoid him.

Johnson said troopers twice attempted “pit maneuvers” — where a law officer purposely collides with the suspect vehicle to force it to a stop. It was the second attempt that succeeded in stopping the suspect near an I-15 on ramp, and pinning the vehicle against a utility pole near 5300 South.

The 52-year-old Taylorsville man was arrested without further incident and booked into Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of reckless driving and evading law officers.