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S.L. deputy sheriff critically injured in wreck

MIDVALE — The Utah Highway Patrol is investigating an accident that left a Salt Lake County Sheriff's deputy in critical condition after his patrol car collided with a truck.

Deputy Thad Phillips was traveling east on Fort Union Boulevard about 11:30 p.m. Thursday when he collided with a truck heading south on Union Park Avenue, Sgt. Henry Beltran said.

The impact sent Phillips' patrol car into a wall. It took rescue crews about 30 minutes to extricate Phillips from his vehicle because the glass and metal had folded, Beltran said. Phillips was taken by medical helicopter to LDS Hospital with a broken arm, broken leg and a concussion. He remained in the hospital's intensive care unit this morning. Phillips has been with the Sheriff's Office since September 1997.

The driver of the truck, Matthew Reid, 30, Salt Lake City, was taken to Cottonwood Hospital by ambulance with bruises, cuts and contusions, Beltran said. He was treated and released this morning.

The officer was driving to the scene of a pursuit, Beltran said. He was to assist another officer but never arrived because of his accident.

UHP investigators are investigating the crash.

"Our initial indication is that the deputy entered the intersection when the light was red," UHP Sgt. Doug McCleve said. "The truck was traveling through on a green light."

Witness Dan Tidwell, who was in a parking lot about 600 feet away, said he heard a loud screech. "And all of a sudden I saw cops come down from all directions."

The crash "was so loud it shook. One guy said it sounded like a shotgun," said Jonathan Steed, a witness.

Beltran said the officer's car went through a light that was either yellow or red. The car's flashing lights and siren were on, he said.

Two witnesses told police the patrol car had its lights and sirens on when it entered the intersection.

A third witness saw the emergency lights but heard no siren.

"We saw the car coming. No siren, just lights," said Karley Caldwell, who watched the accident from a nearby apartment complex.


E-MAIL: lhancock@desnews.com