Summit County Sheriff’s Deputies remain hospitalized after accidents
Fall from horse, car wreck lead to serious injuries
A pair of Summit County Sheriff’s Deputies have been seriously injured and remained hospitalized Tuesday morning in separate accidents last week, one involving a mounted patrol in the Uinta Mountains and the other a car accident in Colorado.
Both deputies are expected to survive, according to Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Wright.
“Whenever someone is injured, when it’s one of our own, we’re so close-knit within the profession, it really affects everyone,” Wright said.
Both incidents happened around the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Sgt. Andy Crnich was on mounted patrol in the Uinta Mountains on Friday when his horse stumbled and fell, Wright said. The horse rolled on top of Crnich and broke several of the sergeant’s ribs as well as vertebrae in his back.
As of Tuesday, Crnich was improving daily and anticipating being released from the hospital, Wright said.
Deputy Greg Young was on vacation when he was involved in a serious car accident, Wright said. Young remained in very serious condition Tuesday morning and Wright said it might be weeks before he could be relocated closer to family in Utah.
“Our hearts are broken for him,” Wright said. “It’s been a tough weekend for our office.”
Crnich and Young are experienced law enforcement officers, with 18 years and 9 years experience working for the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, respectively. Crnich has also been active with the South Summit Fire District for 22 years, according to a social media post from the district.
“Needless to say he is a man of unparalleled service to our community,” the district said.
Crnich’s accident happened on the Weber River Trail of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, according to a report from the Sheriff’s Office.
Wright said Crnich was patrolling the forest on horseback along with a partner. The Sheriff’s Office conducts mounted patrols in the forest when it is especially busy, Wright said.
The pair were patrolling east of Oakley when Crnich’s horse slipped on a boulder and started to fall down a ledge, Wright said. Crnich tried to jump clear but the horse rolled on top of him.
Wright said the horse was uninjured.
After the fall, the other deputy radioed for help and three helicopters mobilized to the scene. One delivered search-and-rescue crew members to load Crnich onto a stretcher to be airlifted. He was hoisted to a nearby meadow where a waiting medical helicopter transported him to a hospital in the Salt Lake Valley.
Wright said he visited Crnich on Monday and that he appeared to be in good spirits, considering the circumstances.
“He’s getting better day by day,” Wright said. “… We’re grateful it wasn’t a worse outcome, but definitely not something we like to deal with, especially when we’re out there trying to help others.”
The car accident that hospitalized Young occurred on a busy stretch of road in Colorado Springs on July 1. Wright said Young was on vacation with his family to attend a softball tournament in which his daughter was playing.
Young was alone in his car Thursday morning when he attempted to take a left turn from a business parking lot onto the busy street.
“It sounds like, according to reports out of Colorado, that there were allegedly street racers that were going down this roadway. He was T-boned by one of them,” Wright said. “From what I heard, they estimated speeds above 70 mph when they T-boned Greg. He is not doing well.”
Wright said Young had extensive trauma, was in intensive care and underwent multiple surgeries.
His family and the Utah Fraternal Order of Police, a police union, have been working together to relocate Young to a hospital closer to home, Wright said, but the transfer must wait until Young’s condition stabilizes.
“He has been improving each day which, of course, we’re grateful to hear,” Wright said. “But it sounds like it could be weeks before we could get him to a hospital here in Utah.”
Wright suggested those who want to support Young’s recovery could visit a fundraiser at helpahero.com/campaign/deputy-greg-young.
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The Summit County Fair returns this week.