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Man killed on I-15 was at acting unusually prior to going to hospital

Published: Friday, Jan. 3 2014 11:55 a.m. MST

Police say a man who ran out of Davis Hospital and onto I-15 where he was hit and killed, was originally taken to the hospital for an involuntary psychiatric evaluation.

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LAYTON — Police say a man who ran out of Davis Hospital and onto I-15 where he was hit and killed was reportedly acting unusually prior to being taken to the hospital.

About 3 p.m. Thursday, Syracuse police were called to a disturbance involving James William Flynn, 29. Flynn's father told officers his son "was not acting like himself and his family was concerned about James' safety," according to a statement released Friday afternoon by Syracuse police.

Syracuse police officer Erin Behm said Flynn was reportedly outside of his house yelling. She said he was screaming and making noise more than yelling any words. Flynn was not being violent toward himself or others, Behm said.

"Syracuse police had no reason for an involuntary committment. However, James voluntarily went to the hospital with his family," according to Syracuse police.

The family asked police to follow them to the hospital. The officers went with the family to Davis Hospital and Medical Center, 1600 W. Antelope Drive, and stayed until the evaluation began, according to police.

About 6:15 p.m., Flynn ran out of the building and hospital security chased after him.

A Layton police officer who was at the hospital on an unrelated matter quickly found out what was going on and joined in the pursuit. He reportedly was told that Flynn was in the hospital for an involuntary psychiatric evaluation, said Layton Police Lt. Shawn Horton.

The officer ran out of the hospital and called for backup, Horton said. The officer chased Flynn as he reached a fence and called out to him to stop as he scaled the fence and jumped down to the other side, Horton said.

Flynn then ran across the off-ramp from southbound I-15 and onto Antelope Drive but then kept going and ran into the southbound lanes of I-15. By this time, three Layton officers were chasing after him.

"One of the officers indicated that it looked like he was not trying to get out of the way of cars," Horton said.

Flynn was hit by two vehicles. Officers dragged him back out of traffic and attempted CPR before medical personnel rushed him back to the hospital, where he died.

Utah state court records show that Flynn pleaded guilty in 2009 to attempted drug possession or use, a third-degree felony, and between 2003 and 2010 was convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia, misdemeanor assault, trespassing and theft.

The accident and investigation closed two lanes of southbound I-15 and delayed traffic for more than two hours Thursday.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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