LOGAN — The Utah Highway Patrol held a press conference Tuesday morning as Sgt. Cade Brenchley was released from Logan Regional Hospital. The 13-year veteran had been hospitalized since Sunday afternoon, after being hit while responding to multiple slide-offs in Sardine Canyon.
After showing dash-cam video of Brenchley being hit by a passing motorist, the 40-year-old Providence man said it was a miracle he is alive.
“I think you can see I’m extremely grateful to be alive and here talking to you,” said Brenchly, while sitting next to his wife and surrounded by his children. “It was not my favorite day.”
The video shows Brenchley walking towards a car that had slide off the road, between “big curve” and the mouth of the canyon. A black car is seen coming up and striking him from behind. The impact threw him forward into the air, hitting the car he was walking towards.
Brenchely explained that he remembers getting out of his car after checking traffic around him, but has no recollection of getting hit.
“It felt like a dream and I started wondering what was going on. At that point, I kind of woke up and I saw snow. I was laying there with the wind knocked out of me. I was gasping for breath. I was right up against a car and I remember thinking to myself, ‘I’ve been hit, I just got hit holy crap.’”
Several motorists were able to give aid to Brenchley until paramedics arrived and transported him to the hospital. He broke several ribs and his scapula.
Brenchley became emotional as he compared Sunday’s accident to a similar crash in November 2016 that killed fellow trooper Eric Ellsworth, near Garland City. He said if it wasn’t for his “brother in heaven,” he could have also been taken away from his wife and four children.
“We just got to slow down and here’s the thing. I know were police officers and were out there doing our job, but more importantly perhaps to me is that I’m a husband and a father to these kids. I’m a friend, and got a lot of great friends and family. I am truly blessed.
“So please give us room. The tow-trucks, give them room. Construction workers, the medical personnel. When you see lights, error on the side of caution and just slow down, even if you feel like you are going slower than you may need to, and move over.”
The female driver who hit Brenchley visited him in the hospital, bringing him flowers. Brenchley said he and his family hold no ill will against her. He was grateful to meet her and the passengers that were in the car at the time of the accident.
There was heavy snowfall Sunday afternoon that had made road conditions slick. Altogether, there were six crashes and five slide-offs within a 20-minute period. No one else was hurt.
Logan City Police are investigating the crash. They have turned their evidence over to the Wellsville City Attorney, who will determine if any charges are filed against the woman.