UHP Trooper Hit by Vehicle Dies

GARLAND, Utah (ABC4 News) – A Utah Highway Patrol trooper hit by a passenger vehicle while working to slow down traffic in Box Elder County has died.
32-year-old Eric Ellsworth died Tuesday evening. Ellsworth had been on life support since Friday when he was hit after he stopped to assist with a downed power line on SR-13 and 13600 North near the city of Garland, UHP Sgt. Tood Royce said.
Ellsworth was trying to warn the driver of a semi truck about the sagging power line so the driver wouldn’t snag it, and that is when a car coming in the opposite direction struck him.
Ellsworth has been a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol for seven years. He started his career in Green River before being transferred to Box Elder County. He is a second generation UHP trooper and leaves behind a wife and three small boys. Members of the community have placed American Flags to show their support in front of their home.
The crash is under investigation by the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office.
Ellsworth is the third Utah law enforcement officer to be killed in the line of duty this year. 
On November 6, Cody Brotherson with the West Valley Police Department was hit and killed by a vehicle as he layed out spikes to stop a fleeing suspect and Officer Doug Barney was killed on January 17 after being shot by a fleeing fugitive who had been involved in a minor traffic accident. 
Here at ABC4 we send our heartfelt condolences to Trooper Ellsworth, his family and the Utah Highway Patrol.

The following message from Commissioner Keith D. Squires was shared with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) family following the news of Trooper Eric Ellsworth’s passing.  

My heart aches this morning as I share with you the sad news that our brother, Trooper Eric Ellsworth has passed away as a result of his injuries sustained last Friday, November 18. The service our troopers provide is critical to the safety and quality of life that all of us enjoy throughout our great state. Eric represented the finest example of our Utah Highway Patrol team. He will be remembered for his great professionalism, courage, the very caring way he provided his service to help those in need and for his smile and genuine friendship to those he served with. His father Ron was also a trooper, who’s great example guided Eric so honorably to follow in his footsteps.


I want to thank you all for your concern and prayers for Eric and his loving family. My words can’t adequately describe how much we will miss Eric, but I can confidently assure you that we will never forget him, his dedicated service and his dear family who will carry on his amazing legacy. Please keep his wife, Janica, and their three wonderful sons in your prayers. Our love and support is especially needed at this time. Our thoughts and prayers of comfort are also with the young lady who was involved in this accident.

I’m so grateful for the men and women who serve bravely in our UHP in often very dangerous situations. Please know how we all stand with you and appreciate you as we honor Eric’s inspiring life of service and solemnly mourn his passing. To all of my DPS family, it’s incredible to see all you are doing to help Eric’s family. Thank you for showing how much you care. Please be well and safe.

Commissioner Keith D. Squires


The following message from Utah Highway Patrol Colonel Michael Rapich was shared with the UHP family following the news of Trooper Eric Ellsworth’s passing.  
It is with a heavy heart and deep sorrow that I write this email. On Friday, November 18, while responding to a call of low hanging power lines near Garland City, Trooper Eric Ellsworth was struck by a vehicle and critically injured. Late last night, after a long fight, he succumbed to his injuries surrounded by his family and and fellow troopers.
Trooper Ellsworth was 32 years old and loved by his wife Janica with their three sons, his immediate family, his mother and his father, retired trooper Ron Ellsworth.
Eric dedicated the last 7 years of his life to the Utah Highway Patrol and serving the state of Utah. His first two years were spent in Section 9, Green River, and he spent his final 5 years in Section 1 helping and serving the people of Box Elder County and Northern Utah. Our thoughts and love are with Eric, and his family.
The passing of Eric has brought to focus the commitment and dedication of the law enforcement and public safety family. The outpouring of support our department has received has been profound. Not only has it been noticed by our Troopers and staff, but by the Ellsworth family, too. Thank you for your continued support. The overwhelming hurt and sorrow that each of us feel is an absolute testimony to how much we loved and looked up to Eric. He continues to be giant and a hero among us. We will always miss him, he will always be with us, and we will never forget him.
Many of you have asked how you can help. An account at America First Credit Union has been set up for Eric’s family: “Eric Ellsworth Charitable Account.”
Please keep your thoughts and prayers with the Ellsworth family during this difficult time.
Thank you,
Colonel Mike Rapich
The following message was issued by Governor Herbert following the death of Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Ellsworth
“Jeanette and I are heartbroken by the news of Trooper Eric Ellsworth’s passing. Eric was an exceptional second generation UHP Trooper who cared deeply for his young family. A committed public servant, he paid the ultimate sacrifice while keeping others safe from harm. Our prayers are with his loving wife Janica, their children, and the entire UHP family at this difficult time.”

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