Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
SANTAQUIN -- A man who led troopers on a high-speed chase and the motorist he collided with Monday morning are in the hospital. Investigators are looking into whether the suspect could have been under the influence of prescription drugs at the time of the crash.
The Utah Highway Patrol says around 5:50 a.m., the driver of a gray Toyota Camry sped past two troopers who were stopping holiday speeders on Interstate 15 in Santaquin. UHP says he didn't try to stop or even brake.
That Camaro was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
–- Trooper Janet Miller
"He passed us at 90-plus (miles per hour) and then didn't stop," Trooper Janet Miller said.
Troopers chased the driver 16 miles south, where Payson police officers had deployed tire spikes across the road. When the driver saw the spikes, he tried to swerve around them but lost control of the car.
"He did impact the spikes but then went into the median to the left," Miller explained. "As he was going through the median, the vehicle started to roll."
The Camry rolled into northbound traffic and into the path of a white Camaro. The vehicles collided head-on, ejecting the driver of the Camry. He was flown to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the Camaro suffered only minor injuries and was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
Investigators say both men were wearing seat belts and are expected to survive.
Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff's Office says, "A lot of accidents like this do end up being fatalities. What caused them both to survive to this point we don't know for sure."
Troopers found prescription medication bottles in the Camry and will investigate whether the driver could have been driving under the influence.
"When you see that many prescription bottles that is certainly a suspicion," Cannon says. "We will be looking into that."
The Utah County Sheriff's Office is investigating the crash. No word yet on what specific charges the Camry's driver may face.