RIVERDALE Just when a police officer was thinking about ending his pursuit of a possible drunken driver early Friday morning, the driver ran a red light and hit another car broadside, killing the occupant, according to police
Joseph Paul Kirk, 33, of Roy was ejected from his Honda Accord on impact and died at the scene, Riverdale Police Sgt. Kevin Fuller said.
Just prior to the 1 a.m. accident, a Riverdale police officer attempted to pull over a Chevrolet Impala on a minor traffic violation. Fuller said the driver started to pull off 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, police said. Just as they were approaching the intersection at 36th Street, the officer was considering ending the chase. However, Ben entered the intersection against 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 a short time later.
Ben was first taken to an area hospital for treatment of minor injuries. He was then booked in the Weber County Jail for investigation of 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.