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Driver who hit and killed BYU student was off-duty police officer, Utah County Sheriff’s Office confirms

A 23-year-old student is dead following a collision on 400 North 900 East in Provo, according to police.  (Photo credit: Provo City Police)

PROVO, Utah– The driver involved in a traffic accident that killed a 22-year-old BYU student in Provo on Tuesday was an off-duty deputy officer with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, the office confirmed Thursday.

The officer was driving his personal vehicle when he T-boned the driver’s side of the car belonging to Joseph Spencer, authorities said. 

Sgt. Spencer Cannon told KSL NewsRadio the officer is a member of the Utah County Metro SWAT team and was heading to a SWAT-related incident in Pleasant Grove. He was driving an unmarked, personal car. 


Cannon confirmed the sheriff’s office has activated its ‘Officer-Involved Critical Incident’ protocols in response.

Authorities identified Joseph Spencer as the fatal crash victim late Tuesday. Police state the BYU student was from northern Utah and pronounced dead at the scene. 


Sgt. Nisha King with the Provo Police Department said Spencer was pulling out of a Taco Bell when he was struck by another car in “kind of a T-Bone accident” on the driver’s side door. 

Correction: A previous version of the article stated Joseph Spencer was 23. He was 22 years old at the time of the accident. 


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