Driver running from police plows through fences, yards

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SALT LAKE COUNTY -- A car plowed through several Salt Lake County yards early Friday, leaving a trail of destruction behind.

The driver of the vehicle fled from police after being asked to take a field sobriety test.

Gene Mager worked all morning to clean up the debris from his yard. He said he planned to put up a temporary fence, because the car took out three sections of his.

"He sure did mangle this fence up, didn't he?," said Mager.

Magers' front yard, along with his neighbors', became a major crash scene shortly after 2 a.m.

Just minutes before, a Salt Lake City police officer had stopped the 21-year-old driver of a now smashed rental car near 3900 South and 1100 East after he ran a red light.

"The officer was having a conversation with the driver and decided it was possibly a DUI situation. He asked the driver to step out of the vehicle, and that was the point when the driver put it in gear and pulled away," said Lt. Brian Purvis with the Salt Lake City Police Department.

The officer didn't pursue the vehicle, but that didn't seem to matter -- the driver began to speed away. A few blocks later he lost control of the car.

"The car spun off the road, went through a chain link fence, hit a large tree," said Purvis.

Mager witnessed the crash.

"I heard the noise, then I heard two hard hits, and I'm pretty sure it was that pole and that tree," he said.

After hitting the tree, the car finally came to rest at a telephone pole. The driver, however, was lying in the car's debris between the two trees.

He was transported to a local hospital and is expected to be OK. Once he is released, he will be booked on several charges into the Salt Lake County Jail.



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