SALT LAKE CITY — A man in a pickup truck who police believe suffered a “medical issue” crashed into a COVID-19 testing station in the parking lot of Rice-Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah on Thursday.
Nine people were injured, according to authorities, when the truck crashed into two mobile shacks being used for a testing center. The truck also crashed into two cars waiting in line for testing.
Four people, including the driver of the pickup and three University of Utah Health employees, were taken to local hospitals to be treated for undisclosed injuries. By Thursday afternoon, two of those people had been released from the hospital and two remained, with their conditions being described as good and fair.
Salt Lake Fire Capt. Anthony Burton described the damage to the testing center buildings as “significant” and the injuries to the pickup driver as “moderate.”
The incident happened about 9:40 a.m. The man in a pickup truck entered the testing area the wrong way, according to University of Utah Deputy Police Chief Jason Hinojosa.
“Reports we have is he came in through the wrong way. He was directed to go back out and go through the proper entrance. At that point, he accelerated and impacted the buildings coming in for COVID testing,” Hinojosa said. “It does appear it might have been some sort of medical issue.”
Drivers of two vehicles waiting in line to be tested were hit first before the shacks were hit, he said. The people in those vehicles were treated for minor injuries at the scene.
Hinojosa said there will be lots of surveillance video from the parking lot for the police department to review.
Overall, he said it is fortunate there weren’t more injuries.
“When you look at the damage and see the speed of the truck coming in, it could have been much much worse.”
Dr. Richard Orlandi, associate chief medical officer for University Health Services, said employees planned to call all those with testing appointments Thursday and Friday and provide them with alternate locations for testing. He said the university will work to get the stadium testing site back up and running as soon as possible.