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Man steals police car; four people hospitalized

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Four people are in the hospital after a man allegedly stole a police cruiser and led officers on a high -speed chase early Sunday morning.
Stolen Police Cruiser Accident
Stolen Police Cruiser Accident
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Four people are in the hospital after a man allegedly stole a police cruiser and led officers on a high -speed chase early Sunday morning.

The incident, happened around 3 a.m. at the intersection of 500 East 3300 South.

Gary Keller, Executive Officer for the South Salt Lake Police Department, says an officer returning to his cruiser after lunch was unlocking his vehicle when an unexpected man in his 20's approached the car and stole it.

South Salt Lake Police, as well as Utah Highway Patrol crews, pursued the vehicle from 2-3 blocks away, obeying signals while the suspect disobeyed traffic laws, said Keller

Investigators say the suspect in the cruiser was traveling at approximately 60 m.p.h.  At the intersection, the suspect allegedly smashed the police cruiser into the back end of a Mitsubishi Eclipse and then crashed into a northbound Volkswagen.

One male in his late 20's was extracted from his Mitsubishi Eclipse following the crash and transported to an area hospital. He remainds critical condition. A source close to the victim says he is currently in a coma.

Two other females, one in her 50's and one in her 20's, were also transported in serious, but stable condition.

The suspect is being monitored by police at the hospital in serious condition.

UHP officials believe alcohol was a factor and are currently investigating a DUI at this time, said Keller.

"This is a very unfortunate chain of events that happened," said Keller. "We're lucky that it was a Sunday morning and traffic was light."
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