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UTA officer injured in auto-pedestrian crash

A UTA officer is in the hospital after being injured in an auto-pedestrian accident late Tuesday night. (PHOTO: KSL TV's Felicia Martinez)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A UTA officer is in the hospital following an auto-pedestrian accident Tuesday night. 

UTA officer injured while rescuing dog

Officials say the accident happened just before 10 P.M. in the area of 2700 South and State Street.

According to witness Mark Pando, an unleashed dog was walking with its owner when it suddenly went into the road. Later, a UTA officer stopped her vehicle and walked onto the road in order to retrieve the dog. He says she was then violently struck by a black Audi.

“She started walking towards the east side, then all of a sudden a black Audi comes around the side and hits her,” Pando explains. “And then she flipped and she landed on her back.”

South Salt Lake Police Chief Dwayne Ruth says the officer was conscious and breathing when she was transported to the hospital, although she was initially listed in critical condition. She has since been upgraded to stable condition.

“You have to be very aware of when you see police lights,” says Chief Ruth. “Regardless of what lane they may be in. Often times (an officer’s) job takes them away from their vehicle.”

Cops say the driver was taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence. Additionally, a warrant was issued for a blood draw, although the driver was ultimately not arrested. Charges are pending with the district attorney’s office.

At this time, neither the identity of the officer nor the driver have been released.