WEST BOUNTIFUL — Davis County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Boucher physically ran down the interstate in order to stop a car with an unconscious driver and a sleeping toddler inside.
“Dispatch sent out an attempt to locate on a reckless driver,” said Boucher, who has been with the sheriff’s office for 81⁄2 years.
Multiple callers dialed 911 on Aug. 26 to report that a Mazda sedan had crashed into a barrier near Centerville and had continued traveling south on Interstate 15.
Boucher said reports described a man slumped over his steering wheel and a toddler strapped in a car seat in the backseat. Boucher had been on Legacy Highway running radar near Parrish Lane when the call came.
He headed to the location and found other vehicles traveling slowly around the Mazda at about 400 North in West Bountiful. A semitruck was also following the Mazda, which had a flat tire.
Boucher stopped his vehicle on the interstate and ran after the car, which was “rolling down the freeway at about 3 to 4 miles an hour,” he said.
Unfortunately, the driver’s car door was locked. Fortunately, the driver’s window was open. Boucher leaned through the window and pulled on the parking brake, stopping the car.
The man appeared to be unconscious or asleep when the car stopped. He regained consciousness after the car was stopped and got out of the car.
The toddler, a 3-year-old girl, woke up, and officers contacted her mother, Boucher said.
Boucher said he has stopped many cars on the interstate, but he has never run after one.
The car had damage to the passenger side where it hit the barriers.
The man went unconscious again while paramedics were talking to him. They tried to determine if he had fallen asleep, was driving under the influence or had a medical condition, Boucher said.
“His blood sugar was fine, we just don’t know what was going on with him,” Boucher said.
The decision was made to transport the driver to Lakeview Hospital.
Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Todd Johnson said the man was Travis Call, 35, of Clearfield. He was cited for an interlock restricted driver violation, driving on a denied driver’s license and improper lane travel.