AMERICAN FORK — A police chase through American Fork and Lehi ended with a crash that killed an innocent bystander.
About 9:30 a.m. Friday, a Utah County sheriff's deputy pulled over a pickup truck near 500 E. State, said American Fork Police Sgt. Josh Christensen. The reason for the traffic stop was not immediately known.
As the deputy was walking from his patrol car to the truck, the driver, later identified as 21-year-old Trevor Pitcher, took off, Christensen said. The ensuing chase went from American Fork onto I-15 where the truck took the next exit at Main Street in Lehi, and then went east back into American Fork, he said.
At 900 W. State, the fleeing truck smashed into the passenger side of a vehicle in the intersection, Christensen said. A man believed to be about 85 years old, who was sitting in the passenger seat, was killed, he said. The man's elderly wife, who was driving, was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.
Witnesses said the truck ran a red light. Christensen said investigators were still trying to confirm that Friday.
"Preliminary information we have is that speeds could've reached upwards of 70 miles an hour, but we're still investigating that at this time," Christensen said.
The name of the man killed was not immediately released pending notification of family.
Pitcher, from West Jordan, was arrested and then treated at a local hospital for minor injuries, according to a press release from American Fork police.
Pitcher was booked into jail on investigation of manslaughter, evading police, reckless endangerment and red light violation, police said.
Court records show in 2016 he pleaded guilty to failure to stop or respond at command of police, a class A misdemeanor, and reckless driving, a class B misdemeanor.19 comments on this story
Christensen said detectives were looking at whether he was impaired at the time of the crash on Friday.
The deputy was still engaged in an active pursuit when the crash occurred, he said. Both American Fork police and the Utah Highway Patrol were assisting in the crash and the investigation.
Yarlee Jones, a resident who saw the pursuit, said she felt bad for the victim's family members, for the officers, and for those who had to see the accident.
"It's not good. My heart goes out to those involved in any capacity. Very sad," Jones said.
Contributing: Sam Penrod