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Stolen cop car crash: One remains critical; suspect, others, improving

Felony charges » Taylorsville man jailed after hospital release.

First Published Oct 22 2012 10:00 am • Last Updated Oct 23 2012 01:43 pm

Three of the four people hurt in a multi-vehicle crash involving a stolen South Salt Lake police cruiser were in improved condition Monday, but the male driver of one of the cars remained critical.

South Salt Lake police spokesman Gary Keller said the critically injured 22-year-old man was the driver of a Mitsubishi Eclipse struck from behind by the police car at the intersection of 500 East and 3300 South early Sunday morning.

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An 18-year-old female passenger in the same car, initially transported in serious condition, was released from a hospital Monday, Keller said.

The 52-year-old female occupant of a Volkswagen also involved in the crash was listed in stable condition Monday.

Meanwhile, the suspect, a 20-year-old Taylorsville man, initially thought by police to be from Arizona, was released from a hospital Monday and booked into the Salt Lake County jail on suspicion of felony counts of theft, fleeing, DUI with serious injury and several misdemeanors.

Keller said the incident began when a South Salt Lake police officer, returning from a break at the Flying J gas station near 2100 South and 900 West, used a keyless entry remote to unlock the door of his cruiser. That was when the suspect darted inside the vehicle to find the officer had left his keys in the ignition.

The suspect sped from the scene and nearby police units began pursuit. The chase ended a few blocks away when the man crashed first into the back of the Mitsubishi, which was stopped at the light, and then careened into the intersection and collided with the northbound Volkswagen.

remims@sltrib.com




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