Rigby police officer in critical condition after explosive crash
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RIGBY — A reserve officer with the Rigby Police Department is in critical but stable condition at the University of Utah burn unit following a fiery crash in Utah on Wednesday.
William Gray, 43, was hauling sand in a semi-truck on U.S. Highway 89/91 in Wellsville, Utah, when a man fleeing from a Utah Highway Patrol trooper crashed into him.
Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Lee Perry said the trooper attempted to stop a Chevy Silverado being driven by Brigham City, Utah, resident Marcos Torres, 26, around 1:30 p.m.
Torres fled, crossed into oncoming traffic and hit the semi Gray was driving head-on, Perry said in a Utah Highway Patrol news release.
The impact caused an explosion that ignited both trucks. Torres was pronounced dead at the scene, and Gray was able to get out of the truck on his own, even though he was on fire.
Gray was taken to Logan Regional Hospital by ambulance and later flown to the University of Utah.
“We’re all shaken and upset by what’s happened,” Rigby Police Chief Sam Tower told EastIdahoNews.com on Friday. “He’s one of those guys that if you met him, you’d wonder why this had to happen. He’s a big teddy bear, and we’re worried about him.”
Gray joined the Rigby Police Department as a volunteer reserve officer five years ago. He is a full-time truck driver who loved serving the city, according to Tower.
“We just want him to get better. He’s like a member of our family, and he’ll always have a home with us,” Tower said.
A GoFundMe account has been set up for Gray and his wife to cover work and travel expenses. Click here to visit the page.