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Police shoot, kill Sandy man following I-15 crash

Published: Saturday, March 30 2013 9:25 a.m. MDT

WILLARD, Box Elder County — A Sandy man reported to have been driving on the freeway at speeds exceeding 100 mph was shot and killed by police Friday night after he crashed.

Police in Davis County started receiving calls about 10:15 p.m. reporting that a GMC Denali driven by Cody Ramseyer, 49, was traveling recklessly on northbound I-15. The driver was traveling faster than 100 mph at times and was passing vehicles in the emergency lanes, the Utah Highway Patrol reported.

"Several attempts were made by officers to get into position to stop the vehicle. They were unsuccessful, due to the high rate of speed of the vehicle," the UHP said in a statement.

Officers followed the man into Weber County and then north into Box Elder County when, "for some unknown reason, the vehicle veered to the right shoulder, into a ditch and crashed" near the Willard exit. A Pleasant View police officer witnessed the crash about 11:30 p.m.

Police say Ramseyer "aggressively approached officers in a threatening manner" within moments of their arrival at the crash site. Officers from UHP and Pleasant View police  deployed Tasers, which police say did not slow his aggressive behavior. A Willard police officer eventually shot him.

Ramseyer was first taken to Brigham City Community Hospital, then by helicopter to McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, where he was pronounced dead.

Capt. Brian Redd with Utah's State Bueau of Investigation said no weapon was recovered at the scene of the fatal shooting, but a thorough search of Ramseyer's car was going to be conducted.

I-15 was closed in both directions for a time and the northbound lanes remained closed for five hours overnight as troopers investigated the scene.

Ramseyer, a father of six children from Sandy, was the only person in the vehicle.

Neighbors of the Ramseyer family said the news comes as quite a shock.

"I can't believe it," said next door neighbor Laura Blum. "I don't think we can even guess what was going on with him."

Blum said she saw Ramseyer on Thursday and noticed nothing out of the ordinary.

For Lara Beckstrand, a neighbor who moved in when they did about eight years ago, the news was jolting, though not entirely unexpected.

"Cody has been going through a hard time these past few years," Beckstrand said. "But I'm shocked that it came to this. ... You wonder what made him go 100 miles an hour."

Beckstrand said the Ramseyers were the first people she met when she moved in. "He did stucco on our house and we fell in love with him and his wife. He was the sweetest, sweetest man on the planet."

Dawn West, a 20-year resident in the Sandy neighborhood, said Cody owned a roofing business and never hesitated to help those in need.

"He’s given me a bid before on roofing," West said. "They are very nice people, very into the community."

Neighbors are doing their best to ensure that the family will be taken care of.

"This is a great neighborhood. They will rally for them. The Ramseyer family will be cared for," said neighbor Ernie Nielsen. "The family is a sweet, wonderful, loving family. They take care of each other. You should watch those girls take care of each other. It’s an inspirational experience."

Nielsen said he hopes gossip doesn’t spread, but that surrounding neighbors focus on what is most important.

"Let the facts come out and let the facts take care of it, but most importantly, let’s take care of the  family. Let’s be sure that the wife and those cute kids are being taken care of," he said.

Anyone who witnessed the shooting or saw the Denali traveling on I-15 before the crash is asked to call investigators at 435-734-3800.

E-mail: rlowry@deseretnews.com

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