UHP trooper dies 4 days after being struck by 16-year-old driver

UHP Trooper Eric Ellsworth, photo location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Utah Highway Patrol trooper who was listed in extremely critical condition Friday after being struck by a car died from his injuries Tuesday night.

“It is with a heavy heart and deep sorrow that the Utah Highway Patrol confirms the passing of Trooper Eric Ellsworth,” Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce said in a statement. “Our thoughts and love go to his wife and their three young boys.”

Trooper Eric Ellsworth (second from right) was a seven year veteran of the UHP, photo location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News
Trooper Eric Ellsworth (second from right) was a seven year veteran of the UHP, photo location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

Trooper Ellsworth, a seven-year UHP veteran, responded to a report of a low-hanging power line near 13600 North and state Route 13 in Box Elder County at approximately 9:45 p.m. Friday.

Ellsworth, 32, of Brigham City, was waiting for a power company crew when he stepped out of his patrol car to alert the driver of an approaching semi of the sagging power line.

While doing so, the trooper was struck by a 16-year-old girl driving a 2006 Chevy sedan, according to the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office.

Ellsworth was transported to a hospital in Bear River with life-threatening injuries before being flown to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. Five days later, the trooper’s injuries proved fatal as Ellsworth died early Wednesday morning.

In a prepared statement, Tuesday, Ellsworth’s family thanked the community for the love and support shown to their family while offering forgiveness to the 16-year-old girl who hit Ellsworth.

“We know that was a tragic accident that affected so many individuals,” Ellsworth’s brother-in-law, Jason Moyes, said on behalf of the family. “We also know this accident greatly affected the life of a young lady. Collectively as a family, we want this young lady to know of our love for her. Our prayers have been there for you and your family. We are so grateful for the immediate feelings of forgiveness and love toward you. You will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.”

Trooper Ellsworth’s first two years with the Utah Highway Patrol were spent in Green River. He spent his final five years in Section 1 serving the people of Box Elder County and Northern Utah.

UHP Trooper Eric Ellsworth, photo location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News
UHP Trooper Eric Ellsworth, photo location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

The service provided by state troopers is critical to the safety and quality of life enjoyed throughout Utah, Utah Department of Public Safety Commissioner Keith D. Squires said in a statement Wednesday.

“Eric represented the finest example of our Utah Highway Patrol team,” Squires said. “He will be remembered for his great professionalism, courage, the very caring way he provided his service to help those in need and for his smile and genuine friendship to those he served with. His father Ron was also a trooper, who’s great example guided Eric so honorably to follow in his footsteps.”

Squires also offered support to the teenage girl involved in the fatal accident.

“Lastly, there’s a young lady who is a new driver that sadly was involved with this accident, and it was an accident,” Squires said of the teen driver. “I ask that you keep her in your thoughts and prayers too.”

Gov. Gary R. Herbert said Wednesday he was heartbroken by the news of Trooper Ellsworth’s passing.

“Eric was an exceptional second generation UHP Trooper who cared deeply for his young family,” Herbert said in a statement. “A committed public servant, he paid the ultimate sacrifice while keeping others safe from harm. Our prayers are with his loving wife Janica, their children, and the entire UHP family at this difficult time.”

Ellsworth is the second Utah law enforcement officer to be struck and killed by a vehicle while responding to a call this month. On Nov. 6, West Valley Police Officer Cody Brotherson was struck and killed by a vehicle whose driver was fleeing from law enforcement during a pursuit.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Ed. note: Utah DPS Director of Public Relations Marissa Villasenor confirmed Ellsworth died from his injuries Nov. 22.

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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2 Comments

  • Bob November 23, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    my condolences to the family

  • t November 23, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    God Bless the family, friends, and our police!

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