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Deputy collapses at traffic stop

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Orem resident Kevin Halladay was driving to a restaurant on Main Street in Park City Thursday when a Wasatch County deputy died in Provo Canyon.

"The officer pulled over a young lady He was right beside the young lady’s car with his head toward the front of his car, flat on his back with his palms up," Halladay said. "She said that he had been on the ground about two minutes when I got here and I was the first on the scene."

Halladay is 52 years old and stopped to help Thursday at 8:15 a.m.

"I see this officer down and I see a girl outside her car and I had no idea what was going on," said Halladay, who fixes computers at Sundance Resort. "Mr. Redford owns the Zoom restaurant in Park City and I was heading up there to work on some computer issues."

Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. G. Scott Hathcock "would breathe on his own every now and then" as he performed rescue breathing and chest compressions on the deputy, Halladay said.

But it was Hathcock’s last traffic stop Thursday near Lower Deer Creek Road on U.S. 189. The 22-year-old Provo woman he pulled over who was driving toward Heber said she was stopped for speeding.

She declined to comment further.

Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputies helped Utah Highway Patrol troopers investigate but spokesman Josh Wall said he doesn’t know what caused Hathcock’s death.

"My understanding is, it’s not related to the traffic stop," Wall said. "Probably an unknown medical condition is the best way to describe it."

Officers are awaiting autopsy results.

Before he became a full-time deputy in Wasatch County in 2007, Hathcock, who died at the scene, worked as a state trooper for more than 20 years.

"He was a professional in every facet of his life, it didn’t matter if he was on the scene of a fatal accident or a family fight or a barking dog call," said Jed Olsen, a retired Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

Hathcock helped train troopers and has "probably trained thousands of officers throughout the state of Utah," Olsen said.

Hathcock is survived by his wife and two sons and lived in Heber for almost 25 years.

"I’ve known him about 24 years," Olsen said.

The veteran officer "had no health problems and he hadn’t been complaining of any health problems at all," Olsen said.

"There are always these things that take you for a turn that’s for sure," he said.

When Halladay reached the officer on the road Hathcock was not breathing.

"So I cleared his airway, tipped his chin up and I started chest compressions. After four or five chest compressions he just took this great big gulp of air and the first thing through my mind was that he was going to make it," Halladay said. "There were several times when he inhaled."

Halladay said he learned first aid by taking an American Red Cross course eight years ago.

It took emergency responders more than 15 minutes to arrive, he explained.

"It was very sad," Halladay said. "All the highway patrolmen knew him and most of the emergency personnel that showed up knew him."

Donations for the officer’s family can be deposited for Scoot Hathcock in an account at Zions Bank.


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