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MURRAY — A Kaysville police officer suffered minor injuries early Tuesday while helping Utah Highway Patrol troopers who were called to a head-on crash caused by a wrong-way driver.
The drivers in the head-on collision were both hospitalized in critical conditions Tuesday, according to the UHP.
The woman, who was not immediately identified, was doing a ride-along with a UHP trooper. About 2:20 a.m., troopers responded to a crash involving a wrong-way driver on I-15 southbound near 5300 South.
A Toyota SUV heading north in the southbound lanes struck a Ford Econoline van head-on, said UHP Sgt. Nick Street. Both drivers, the lone occupants of each vehicle, were wearing their seat belts and were conscious and alert when emergency crews arrived.
Both had to be extricated from their vehicles, Street said.
Investigators suspect the driver of the SUV may have been intoxicated, according to Street. Troopers did not know Tuesday where the man got on the freeway, but don't believe he had been traveling the wrong way for very long since they did not receive any other calls prior to the crash.
At least two witnesses told troopers the SUV was traveling "at freeway speeds" just prior to hitting the van, he said.
Corbin Gray Celotto, 28, of Draper, was arrested at the hospital for investigation of DUI. He will be booked into the Salt Lake County Jail once he is released.
According to court records, Celotto was convicted of an amended charge of impaired driving in 2016. In exchange for his guilty plea, misdemeanor gun and drug charges were dismissed.
The injured officer is a Kaysville Police Officer. She is doing well, up talking and able to walk around.— Utah Highway Patrol (@UTHighwayPatrol) November 20, 2018
The Kaysville officer happened to be riding along with a trooper at the time of the crash on Tuesday, and both responded to the scene. The officer was assisting the troopers by setting by road flares when she was struck by another car. She suffered a hurt knee and possible concussion, Street said.
Murray police were called to investigate that crash to avoid a conflict of interest, he said.
The incident marks the sixth wrong-way driver case police in Utah have responded to since Friday, including another crash that occurred later Tuesday.
- Tuesday afternoon, police said an elderly man entered Bangerter Highway at 7000 South driving north in southbound lanes. The wrong-way vehicle struck a police officer's car and a minivan near 6500 South, and a third driver hit the vehicle's engine block. Police were investigating whether the elderly man was experiencing a medical issue.
- On Monday, an elderly woman drove about 3 miles the wrong way on I-84 in Weber Canyon before troopers were able to pull her over, Street said. No accidents were reported and no one was injured.
- Bernardino Tereso Gonzalez, 68, was arrested for investigation of DUI on Friday with a 0.148 blood alcohol content, Street said, and driving on a denied license after he got onto I-215, possibly at 4500 South, going the wrong way. He was eventually stopped on I-15 near 3300 South by a UHP trooper who was forced to perform a PIT manuever on the vehicle.
- In the another incident, an 80-year-old woman was driving north in the southbound lanes of I-15 in Utah County early Friday, according to the UHP. Troopers were able to force her car onto the shoulder and no one was injured.
- In a third case on Friday, a car rolled off I-15 while trying to avoid a wrong-way driver near Cedar City, the UHP reported. The driver was not injured.