A four-car accident at Third West and Eighth North following a high-speed chase that began in North Salt Lakecritically injured one man and slightly injured two people.
Jimmy R. Duerden, 32, 1325 Orchard Dr., Bountiful, was in critical condition Tuesday night at LDS Hospital. Marla Brindley, 19, Logan, and Douglas Ford, 24, St. George, who were in the second car struck by the speeding vehicle, were treated for injuries and released.Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Jim Dudzinski said the high-speed chase began about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday when a North Salt Lake policeman pulled up behind a vehicle that appeared to have a flat tire. The car's driver sped south on U.S. 89 and then onto Beck Street in an attempt to elude police, reaching speeds in excess of 70 mph.
As the car reached Eighth North, where Beck Street curves to the south to join with Third West, the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle. The car crossed the center median and struck a northbound car driven by George Dyer of North Salt Lake.
The car continued south, striking the car containing Brindley and Ford and spinning it into the southbound lanes. The car continued on in the northbound lanes, knocking a pickup truck into the southbound lanes. The car came to rest on the sidewalk on the west side of Third West at about Seventh North.
Clarisse Dyer said they swerved to the left when they saw the car coming at them as they reached the curve.The car hit the right rear part of their vehicle before striking the second vehicle.
"I was watching it out the rear window and it just kept going after it hit us and then hit the car behind us," Dyer said. Dyer, her husband and 3-month old daughter, who was strapped in a car seat, escaped injury.
Tom Rhoades, Syracuse, was in the third vehicle struck by the car. "I'd just pulled through the light (at Sixth North) and was going about 35 mph when I saw the car sliding at me on its side. There were sparks flying everywhere.
"I tried to pull into the left turn lane to avoid him, but he hit my truck just behind the passenger door," Rhoades said. The impact spun the car around and knocked the rear wheels, intact with the axle, off the truck. They came to rest about 50 feet from the truck.
Rhoades, who was uninjured, said he heard sirens and saw the lights from the police cars before realizing that the sliding car was coming at him. He said he saw the car strike a vehicle ahead of him but was unable to avoid a collision.
Dudzinski said the accident is under investigation, but no citations had been issued to Duerden by late Tuesday night.