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Officer takes alternate route Friday, stumbles on fiery crash moments after it happened

Local News

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah (News4Utah) – Centerville Police Officer Shaun McWilliams was on his way to work when he randomly decided to take Legacy Parkway, instead of his usual I-15 route. That decision may have helped save lives. 

Just after 7 a.m. Friday, McWilliams – who was traveling southbound on Legacy Parkway – came upon a large commotion on the side of the road. Smoke and flames were billowing from a black sedan. Two teenage boys were inside and they were severely injured, McWilliams said. 

“The driver most likely had a broken leg and internal injuries,” he said. “The passenger had a broken arm…I just told him ‘we gotta work through the pain and get them out, the vehicle’s going up.'”

McWilliams was able to get the two boys out of the fully-engulfed car, breaking the window with his axe and pulling them to safety. He sustained minor smoke inhalation injuries and minor cuts and scrapes. 

It’s the nature of the job, he said, as he headed back into work Friday after the ordeal. 

Still, he says he couldn’t have done it without the help of the amazing citizens who got out of their cars before he arrived, and continued to help him get the occupants out of the vehicle. 

“It just shows what people can do when everyone comes together,” he said. 

The two teens were flown to Primary Children’s Hospital, troopers said Friday. They praised the actions of McWilliams and the other Good Samaritans who helped them. 

Sadly, McWilliams said, it was apparent the driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash had already died when he arrived on scene. Troopers said the boys in the black sedan were driving northbound, when the driver lost control and veered into the southbound lanes, crashing into a silver sedan. Both cars ended up rolling down an embankment. Troopers said the driver of the silver sedan died after impact. 

“Our hearts go out to his family,” McWilliams told News4Utah. “He was just going to work. It’s just awful.”

Witnesses said the driver of the black sedan was speeding. It’s unclear whether charges will be filed. Investigators shut down Legacy Parkway in both directions for hours Friday while accident reconstruction teams worked to investigate. There was glass and debris strewn all over the scene. 

Investigators remind anyone who witnesses an accident or comes upon an accident scene to immediately call 911. 

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