Unified Officer Helps Motorist After Rock Fall


BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah (ABC4 Utah) A Cottonwood Heights woman thanks a Unified Police officer who went beyond the call of duty.

A boulder fell right in front of her car and the officer was there to help. 

Liz Sorensen was driving down Big Cottonwood Canyon when a 250 pound rock fell down a avalanche area April 1. 

“Something went under both of my tires, then I just felt like a big slam on the pavement and then I just started to skid,” Sorensen said. 

Driving alone in the middle of a cold night, Sorensen first thought she hit a dead animal. 

“I didn’t know what I hit. I never even saw the rock that I hit,” Sorensen said. 

“I was surprised by a large rock in the road. I had to actually swerve to avoid it,” Unified Police Officer Dustin Olzack said. 

Officer Olzack was at the right place at the right time: right behind her.

After checking to see if Sorensen was okay, Olzack called for backup and started moving several heavy boulders off the road. 

“She was already well started into changing her tire, however, that’s something we try to do if it is wet and cold and the temperature was starting to drop. So we took care of that for her,” Officer Olzack said.

Miles away from home in a badly damaged car, the two officers then followed Sorensen down the canyon to make sure she didn’t get stranded again. 

“Just thank you. He was so kind. He talked to me while we waited. He was a very, very nice police officer,” Sorensen said. 

The insurance estimate puts damage around $3,000. Sorensen was not hurt.  

“You know, if it was my spouse, if it was my wife, my mother, I would want the officer to do the same. I try to treat people how I want my wife to be treated,” Officer Olzack said. 

Rock falls are very common in the canyon this time of year because melting snow and passing storms saturate the ground. 

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