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UHP releases dash cam video of fatal St. George accident



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Last month, a Utah Highway Patrol trooper, speeding toward an accident, slammed into a car carrying two elderly sisters; both women were killed.

UHP has now released dash cam video of the accident, and troopers are talking about what happened.

75-year-old Ila Jean Moore and 71-year-old Karen Gummow were killed when UHP Trooper Lars Gardner's vehicle broadsided their car
75-year-old Ila Jean Moore and 71-year-old Karen Gummow were killed when UHP Trooper Lars Gardner's vehicle broadsided their car

"One of the biggest things that he said when we went to him and asked him, ‘What can we do for you to help you and your family?' He said, 'About the only thing you can do is roll the clock back,'" recalls UHP Sgt. Jeff Nigbur.

Trooper Lars Gardner can't change what happened March 10, but his fellow troopers say he wishes he could.

"As you can imagine, he's going to have to live with this for the rest of his life," Nigbur says.

Gardner's dash cam video shows what happened moments before the crash. He was off-duty, responding to a call for assistance on a pileup on Interstate 15 near Cedar City.

Gardner was at home in St. George and hopped in his patrol car. Nigbur says the "L" on the dash cam video indicates he did have his lights flashing as he sped past cars.

Then, all of a sudden, a car made a left-hand turn in front of Gardner. Two sisters, 75-year-old Ila Jean Moore and 71-year-old Karen Gummow, were killed.


We didn't want this to happen in the first place, and we don't ever want it to happen again.

–UHP Sgt. Jeff Nigbur


"Due to the jolt, due to the impact, it just basically cut the camera off," Nigbur says.

UHP isn't releasing Gardner's speed at the time of the crash, saying St. George police have to release that information. St. George police have yet to respond to KSL's request for that information.

UHP says there is no designated speed limit for troopers responding to calls, but the agency is reviewing that policy.

"It's been hotly debated within the department, as far as policy: What do we need to do better?" Nigbur says. "Like I said, we didn't want this to happen in the first place, and we don't ever want it to happen again."

The Washington County Attorney decided he would not file any charges against Gardner. UHP says they are still looking at disciplining him.

Gardner was on paid administrative leave but has since returned to duty.

E-mail: jstagg@ksl.com

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Jennifer Stagg

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