SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Troopers with the Utah Highway Patrol helped escort a fallen Idaho police officer back to his home state over the weekend.
The body of Rigby Police Department Reserve Officer Bill Gray was escorted by UHP Troopers and Rigby police officers Friday afternoon from Salt Lake City to the Utah/Idaho border where they were greeted by Idaho State Police and other agencies. He was then escorted to the Eckersell Funeral Home in Rigby.
43-year-old Gray died Monday after being at the University of Utah Burn Center for two months. Gray was critically injured following a high-speed crash in July on Highway 89 that was caused by a man fleeing police in Utah. The man crashed into the truck Gray was driving which then burst into flames.
Gray gained national attention as the patient in the center of a controversy between University of Utah nurse Alex Wubbles and two Salt Lake City Police officers who showed up to draw a blood sample from Gray to test for drugs. Wubbles stated that due to hospital policy she would not allow the officers to draw his blood and she was arrested. She was released on scene without further charges but the interaction was caught on video which then sparked controversy in the manner in which she was treated.
Once in Idaho, the procession was met by a large amount of support from the community, Idaho Fire Department, Rigby Police Department and friends and family of the fallen officer.
Gray joined the Rigby Police Department about five years ago as a volunteer reserve officer.
The police department is planning a community memorial for Gray next Friday, Oct. 6, at Rigby High School however further details of the event have not yet been released.
Accounts have been set up to help the family at Zion’s Bank under the William Gray Fund.