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Reason behind chase and fatal crash in American Fork revealed

AMERICAN FORK – Police documents show a chase that ended with a deadly crash in American Fork started over a minor traffic infraction.

The probable cause statement says Trevor Pitcher was pulled over by a Utah County Sheriff’s for a registration violation.  However, when the deputy was approaching Pitcher’s vehicle, he drove off.  American Fork Police Sergeant Josh Christensen says Pitcher seemed to be only concerned about his truck.

“I believe that was one of the comments that he had made to an officer is that he was worried his vehicle would be impounded,” Christensen says.

The statement also says Pitcher claimed he was afraid of law enforcement based on previous interaction he had with them.

He reportedly ran multiple red lights while going twice the legal speed limit before nearly hitting another car on I-15 in Lehi.  Then, the statement says he went back down to American Fork and crashed into the victim’s car on State Street near 900 West.

Christensen says, “He thought if he was to just run then the officers would stop and he could carry on with his day.”

Pitcher slammed into the passenger side of the vehicle, killing 88 year-old Hal Gadd from American Fork.  His wife was driving the vehicle, and Christensen says her injuries are more serious than previously thought.

“Originally, she was thought to be in good condition with minor injuries.  After being at the hospital a short time, they found some internal injuries,” he says.

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office is not commenting, yet, about why the deputy decided to continue to pursue Pitcher after he began driving recklessly.  Christensen says American Fork Police officers have to consider many different factors while pursuing a suspect.

“Our training, for our officers says they are to weigh the importance of the need to capture the suspect right then with the actual violation and the road condition,” he says.

Pitcher has been booked in the Utah County Jail on potential manslaughter charges.