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Student still critical after accident

WEST VALLEY CITY -- A foreign exchange student from Brazil remained hospitalized Monday in critical condition with injuries he received Friday when he was hit and then run over by a West Valley police car.

The accident happened at 11:08 p.m. Friday at 3500 South and 2025 West. Andre Rieckmann, 18, was crossing 3500 South when he was struck by a police car driven by officer John Dietrich.West Valley Police Lt. Lance Call said Dietrich was in an eastbound car and responding to another officer's call for assistance on a traffic stop when the accident occurred.

Rieckmann had just visited a nearby convenience store and purchased candy when he attempted to cross the street. Call said it was raining at the time of the accident and Rieckmann was not using a crosswalk.

His grandmother from Sao Paulo, Brazil, was in town for Rieckmann's graduation and was staying at a nearby hotel. Rieckmann may have been visiting with her.

The Utah Highway Patrol is investigating the accident. Lt. Verdi White II said investigators will look at the initial impact when Dietrich's car hit the pedestrian and the fact that the patrol car then backed over the victim.

Call said Dietrich, who has been with the department about five years, has been placed on administrative leave. The procedure is not standard, as in an officer-involved shooting, but Call said leave is used when officers are affected by trauma.

"We're just concerned about his mental welfare."

Karen Bloomquist with the foreign exchange program Council for Education Travel USA said Rieckmann and his brother Carlos have been in the United States since January.

Andre graduated from Hunter High School and Carlos graduated from Granger High School Thursday.

Their mother arrived in Utah on Sunday due to the tragedy.