Just when a Riverdale police officer was thinking about ending his pursuit of a possible DUI suspect early this morning, the suspect entered an intersection and hit another car broadside, killing that vehicle's occupant.
According to Riverdale Police Sgt. Kevin Fuller, 33-year-old Joseph Paul Kirk of Roy was ejected from his 1987 Honda Accord on impact and died at the scene.
Just prior to the 1 a.m. accident, a Riverdale police officer attempted to pull over a 2000 Chevrolet Impala on a minor traffic violation. Fuller said the the driver started to pull of the road before taking off. The officer believed the driver, Phillip Andrew Ben, 28, maneuvered the car in a way that seemed like he was was impaired, so he started the pursuit.
Ben passed through several intersections on Riverdale Road at a high rate of speed. Just as they were approaching the intersection at 36th Street, the officer was considering ending the chase. However, Ben entered the intersection on a red light and hit Kirk's vehicle on the drivers' side, Fuller said.
Ben's car came to rest in the Enterprise car rental lot on the northwest corner of the intersection. He escaped the car through a passenger window and fled on foot, but was apprehended just a short time later.
Ben was first taken to an area hospital for treatment of minor injuries. On his release, he was then booked in the Weber County Jail on suspicion of multiple violations, including automobile homicide. Fuller said Ben has a criminal history and there were several warrants out for his arrest.
When Ben was apprehended, officers could smell alcohol on him, but the results of a blood test will not be back for several days.