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Josh Romney first on scene of crash, takes media heat for posting photo

Published: Friday, Aug. 28 2015 7:31 a.m. MDT

Josh Romney helped retrieve passengers from a car that slammed into a house Thursday night. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News) Josh Romney helped retrieve passengers from a car that slammed into a house Thursday night. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

MURRAY — A car driving south on I-215 slammed into a house Thursday night, crashed into the front room and rolled on its side, according to Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder. The man in the house was unharmed, and the four uninjured car passengers were retrieved from the vehicle with help from Josh Romney.

Romney, one of former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's sons and a resident of Utah, was driving nearby with his family when the accident happened. They stopped at the intersection after exiting I-215 at 4500 South.

“Just then a vehicle traveling at highway speed passed narrowly by my car, through the intersection and into the kitchen of a home across the street,” Josh Romney said in a statement.

After witnessing the accident, Romney drove to the house, opened the driver’s door and spoke with the four passengers in the car.

“Miraculously, they appeared to have no major injuries,” Romney said. “I was able to help each of them get out of the car and lift them down to the ground. … What I did to help the people involved in the accident is what anyone else would do who witnessed such a potentially dangerous situation,” Romney said.

Romney took a picture with the car at the scene, and the photo he Tweeted is receiving national attention. The Tweet Friday morning from @joshromney reads, “Was first on scene to big accident, see pic of car in the house. I lifted 4 people out to safety. All OK. Thankful.”

The New York Daily News reported that Romney was getting flack on social media for his “humblebrag tweet” of himself standing next to the car and grinning.

“The thirtysomething posed in a preppy bubble jacket and dark pair of jeans next to the smashed vehicle, but some members of the Twittersphere wondered why he would take a 'smiley tourist-type photo' of the incident,” the New York Daily News reported.

Romney, who has been mentioned as a possible future political candidate in Utah, also posted the photo on Facebook where he received more than a hundred comments, many positive ones calling him a hero, but some saying things like “what a self-serving ghoul…” and “no [sic] another Romney fabrication.”

Rick Gregor, a neighbor who heard the wreck and called 911, told KSL he didn't notice Josh Romney because there were a lot of people on scene when the crash happened, and they were more focused on the people in the car than those helping them get out.

Gergor said accidents aren't uncommon in the area, and police say this was the second time a vehicle has crashed into the home.

Winder said Thursday's crash occurred around 8:20 p.m. when the car failed to negotiate a curve coming off I-215 southbound at the 4500 South exit.

Police Friday were still looking into the cause of the accident, possibly that the driver suffered a medical condition, Winder said. Gregor said the wife of the driver thought her husband had a seizure.

Email: madbrown@deseretnews.com

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