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U. police car hits woman accused of stealing bike, police say

(Tanner Siegworth, KSL TV)

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SALT LAKE CITY — A woman was critically injured after a University of Utah police squad car struck her bike Thursday night, police said.

U. police responded to a report that two bicycles were stolen at the Marriott Library on campus about 9:30 p.m., according to Salt Lake Police Lt. Carlos Valencia.

A witness told police they saw two people take the bikes. The injured bicyclist was riding one of the stolen bikes, U. Police Deputy Chief Rick McLenon later confirmed.

An officer heading to the scene got out of his car and tried to stop the alleged bike thieves on foot, McLenon said. They started to flee from the officer, so he got back in his squad car and attempted to complete a U-turn.

That’s when the officer accidentally hit one bicyclist, clipping the rear tire of the bike at the intersection of 400 South and University Street, according to McLenon.

The woman, who is in her 20s and whose name was not immediately released, was taken to the University of Utah Hospital in critical but stable condition, Valencia said.

The woman’s injuries were not life threatening, McLenon added.

The other alleged bike thief fled the scene, McLenon said. Police will pursue charges against the injured woman for stealing the bike.

Both the crash and bicycle theft cases remain under investigation from different agencies.

University police are handling the theft case, while Salt Lake police are handling the crash investigation.

Contributing: Alexis Pineiro, KSL; Emerson Oligschlaeger, KSL


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