FARMINGTON — A Utah Highway Patrol trooper intentionally sideswiped a wrong-way driver on the Legacy Highway late Monday to stop the man before he injured or killed someone.
Brad Shay Blackner, 37, of Draper, who has a history of impaired driving, was arrested for investigation of DUI with two or more prior convictions in the past 10 years.
In addition, Blackner was arrested for investigation of a long list of other charges, including being an alcohol restricted driver, driving without an ignition interlock device, driving on a suspended license, reckless driving, drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, having an open container in the car, no registration and having prescription medication in an unlabled bottle.
About 10:45 p.m., a wrong-way driver was reported on U.S. 89. Two troopers located the vehicle by the time it had crossed onto the Legacy Highway, said UHP Lt. Todd Royce. It was traveling north in the southbound lanes, he said.
In order to stop the vehicle, UHP trooper Jon Stanford slowed his vehicle down to almost a stop, and waited for the wrong-way driver to approach him. Just as the vehicle got close to him, Stanford hit the gas pedal and used his patrol car to sideswipe the other car, causing it to spin out and come to a stop, Royce said.
The impact also caused the trooper's patrol car to collided head-on with a concrete Jersey barrier.
The manuever is risky and could result in the trooper being seriously injured. "But we've got to get those cars stopped. Because the end result is usually tragic," he said.
Stanford was transported to McKay-Dee Hospital to be treated for a minor knee injury.
When Davis County sheriff's deputies arrived at the scene, Blackner had crawled into the back seat of his car, according to a Davis County Jail report.
"He appeared to be confused and had white foam around his lips," the deputy noted. "I asked him where he was and he stated Salt Lake on the freeway. I asked him where he was going and he said he was going downtown Salt Lake to a club to get with some girls. I informed him he was in Davis County by Lagoon. His verbal responses were slow and slurred."
After failing field sobriety tests, Blacker "claimed to be clean from heroin and cocaine for five days," according to the report.
A police K-9 was brought to the scene to check the car for drugs. Deputies found a "grinder with white powder," anti-depressant pills not in a prescription bottle, sleeping pills, rum and "rolled up dollar bills with white powder residue," the report states.
A portable breathalyzer test was conducted and Blackner blew a 0.15 blood alcohol content, or nearly twice the legal limit, according to the report.
"While waiting for the doctor, Brad spontaneously stated Ambien messes him up," the report states. "I asked Brad how many prior DUI convictions he has had. He stated three prior convictions and the fourth was still going through the court process. He said this would be his fifth DUI arrest. I confirmed those number to be accurate based on a Utah criminal history search."
According to court records, Blackner was charged with felony DUI in 2016 for crashing on I-15 while impaired. In May of 2017, he was given a suspended prison sentence and placed on probation.
He was also convicted of DUI in 2013, 2012, and reckless driving in 2011 in exchange for a charge of DUI being dismissed, according to court records.