Parleys chase ends with death of driver
May 19, 2008
A driver who led officers on a chase died Sunday in Parleys Canyon when his Subaru slammed into a fuel tanker, the authorities said.
Deputies pursued the man because he fit the description of a suspect in a fraud case reported in western Summit County at 2:40 p.m., Summit County Sheriff’s Office Detective Cpl. Josh Wall said.
He identified the man who died as 57-year-old Douglas E. Cottrell of the Wasatch Front.
Cottrell fled in his car from officers on westbound Interstate 80 near Kimball Junction, Wall said.
The man accelerated when he reached Parleys Summit, Wall said.
Cottrell traveled up and down Parleys Canyon by crossing the median, he added.
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Deputies used spikes attempting to puncture tires on the car near the summit, Wall said.
"The vehicle spun around and traveled westbound in the eastbound lanes for a short distance before hitting a Summit County Sheriff’s Office vehicle head on," a prepared statement from the Sheriff’s Office states.
But Cottrell crossed the median again and continued westbound before crossing the median again and slamming a semi-truck hauling ethylene eastbound, according to Wall.
"Ethylene is dangerous to your health," Park City Fire District Battalion Chief Steve Zwirn said. "To be in the area where the product is leaking you have to have a respirator on."
The spill occurred about a half-mile west of Parleys Summit, Zwirn explained, adding that the tanker contained about 7,000 gallons of combustible liquid.
"Less than a gallon escaped the entire time we were there," Zwirn said. "There were no injuries from the chemical."
Firefighters carefully stabilized the container, he said.
"If the container had been moved and it split, we would have had a humongous problem," Zwirn said.
Eastbound Interstate 80 was closed until after midnight as the spill was cleaned up, he said, adding that one lane on the westbound side of the freeway opened at about 6:30 p.m.
The truck driver was not injured and the deputy whose vehicle was struck suffered injuries to his shoulder and arm, Wall said.