SALT LAKE CITY — A 16-year-old girl who struck and killed Utah Highway Patrol trooper Eric Ellsworth in November last year will not be charged, according to the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office.
The Box Elder County Sheriff and the UHP accident reconstruction specialist conducted an extensive and technical investigation that included many witnesses, the sheriff’s office said in a media release.
The final facts of the case were turned over to the Box Elder County attorney for review in April and on May 2, the county attorney informed the sheriff they would not be pressing charges.
“Although the speed of the vehicle being operated by the juvenile has been determined to be a factor in trooper Ellsworth’s death, the evidence indicates the juvenile was operating the vehicle within the posted limit,” the county attorney Stephen R. Hadfield said.
Hadfield added that there was no evidence the juvenile violated any other traffic laws nor did she act with criminal intent. The investigation determined there was no evidence of distracted driving involving a cellphone or otherwise and no evidence of impairment from the girl.
On Nov. 18, 2016, Ellsworth was assisting on a report of a downed power line on state Route 13 at 13600 North near Garland, Box Elder County. He had stepped out of the vehicle and was trying to alert the driver of a semitruck about the power line when the girl driving a sedan in the southbound lane struck the trooper.
Ellsworth died Nov. 22 after several days in the intensive care unit at Intermountain Medical Center.