Fallen Troopers

George %22Ed%22 Van Wagonen

George %22Ed%22 Van Wagonen

George “Ed” Van Wagonen was hired on April 11, 1928 to form the Utah Highway Patrol. He had been a Provo City Police Officer for three years.

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He was issued a 1927 Harley Davidson motorcycle and later a 1928 Model “A” Ford. On May 23, 1931, while conducting a stolen vehicle investigation, Patrolman VanWagenen, fell onto a large circular saw used to cut firewood. The saw severed VanWagenen’s right side penetrating his liver and lung. He died later that same day.
Dennis %22Dee%22 Lavelle Lund

Dennis %22Dee%22 Lavelle Lund

Dennis “Dee” Lavelle Lund joined the protective Services Section of the Utah Highway Patrol in 1986. He was promoted to Trooper in 1987 and

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transferred to field operations at Hanksville. He later moved to Green River, Emery County. On June 16, 1993, he was assisting other officers who were attempting to stop a stolen vehicle on Interstate 70. During the high-speed pursuit of the vehicle, three Troopers were fired upon. One of the rounds passed through the windshield of Trooper Lund’s patrol car, striking him in the head and killing him. Two suspects were arrested and convicted of murder.
Charles D. %22Chuck%22 Warren

Charles D. %22Chuck%22 Warren

Charles D. “Chuck” Warren joined the Utah Highway Patrol August 19, 1956. On September 2, 1969, Trooper Warren stopped a stolen vehicle on

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SR 77 just west of Springville, Utah. As he approached the vehicle, the driver produced a .22 caliber revolver and shot two times. Both rounds struck Trooper Warren in the head just above the right eye. The suspect was later captured and sent to prison. Trooper Warren was in a coma for several weeks. Although he regained consciousness, ne never recovered from his injuries. He was paralyzed for life, had difficulty speaking, and had many health problems due to the shooting. On May 16, 1994, Trooper Warren died due to complications from pneumonia.
Doyle R. Thorne

Doyle R. Thorne

Doyle R. Thorne joined the Utah Highway Patrol in 1975. He served at the Kanab Port of Entry and in field operations at Brigham City and Vernal.

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A former Marine helicopter pilot in Vietnam, he transferred in December 1988 to the Aero Bureau to fly the department’s helicopter. On July 30, 1994, Sergeant Thorne flew a search-and-rescue mission to look for a missing two-year-old girl in Duchesne County. Once the small child was located, Sergeant Thorne began is return trip to Salt Lake City. Shortly thereafter, he radioed a distress call and the aircraft disappeared from radar. Three days later, the helicopter was found in a heavily wooded area. Sergeant Thorne had died in the crash.
Joseph %22Joey%22 Samuel Brumett III

Joseph %22Joey%22 Samuel Brumett III

Joseph “Joey” Samuel Brumett III joined the Utah Highway Patrol in March 1992. Following the police academy, he was assigned to field operations

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in Salt Lake County. On December 11, 1992, Trooper Brumett was dispatched to a multiple-vehicle accident on Interstate 15 at 2800 South. As he was directing traffic, Trooper Brumett was struck by a pickup truck. The pickup then struck another vehicle and the driver of the pickup fled on foot. Trooper Brumett died at the scene. The suspect was later apprehended and convicted of hit-and-run and driving without a license.
Randy K. Ingram

Randy K. Ingram

Randy K. Ingram joined the Utah Highway Patrol in August 1984. He served at the Kanab Port of Entry and later as a field trooper in Fillmore.

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In 1988 he transferred to Juab County. On October 5,1994, Tropper Ingram stopped a van occupied by Boy Scouts on Interstate 15 because no taillights were visible. A semi-truck driver fell asleep, drifted into the emergency lane, and struck Trooper Ingram’s patrol car. Proper placement of the trooper’s car saved the lives of the scouts but Trooper Ingram was killed instantly. The truck driver pleaded guilty to negligent homicide.
Tom Rettberg

Tom Rettberg

Tom Rettberg joined the Utah Highway Patrol in 1975. He served at the Echo Port of Entry for one year and in field operations at Weber County

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for two years before joining the Aero Bureau. Tom left the UHP and joined Wildlife Resources in 1979. He later served with Utah Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division until he returned to the Utah Highway Patrol Aero Bureau in 1985. On February 11, 2000, Lieutenant Rettberg was performing an auto rotation maneuver required by the FAA to simulate an emergency engine failure. During the maneuver a malfunction occured and the helicopter crashed.
Armond A. %22Monty%22 Luke

Armond A. %22Monty%22 Luke

Armond A. “Monty” Luke joined the Utah Highway Patrol in 1936. He resided at his hometown of Junction, Piute County, his entire career.

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On December 2, 1959, Trooper Luke was traveling on U.S. 89 six miles south of Circleville when he swerved to miss several deer crossing the roadway. The patrol car left the roadway, rolled down an embankment, and landed in the Sevier River. Trooper Luke was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene.
John R. Winn

John R. Winn

John R. Winn joined the Utah Highway Patrol as a “radio operator” in 1959. He was assigned to the Price office and later transferred to Provo.

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In 1964 he was promoted to “radio technician,” which at the time was a sworn police position. On September 22, 1971, while working at a radio tower located on Lake Mountain in Utah County, Trooper Winn was operating a loader on a steep grade. The loader rolled backwards, out of control, and rolled one time, killing Trooper Winn.
William John Antoniewicz

William John Antoniewicz

William John Antoniewicz joined the Utah Highway Patrol in 1974. Originally from New Bedford, Massachusetts, he moved to Brigham City,

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Utah, in 1972. Trooper Antoniewicz was assigned to the Echo Port of Entry on the Utah-Wyoming border and commuted daily from Coalville. On December 8, 1974, he stopped a speeding vehicle nine miles east of Echo Junction on Interstate 80. When the trooper approached the vehicle, the driver fired several rounds from a .38-caliber revolver, fatally wounding Trooper Antoniewicz. Eighteen months later, a suspect was arrested and later pleaded guilty to murder.
Ray Lynn Pierson

Ray Lynn Pierson

Ray Lynn Pierson joined the Utah Highway Patrol in 1974. He served at the Heber Port of Entry and in field operations at Moab. On November 7,

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1978, just two days after transferring to his hometown of Panguitch, he stopped a pickup truck which, unknown to Trooper Pierson, was stolen. As Lynn approached the vehicle, the driver produced a .357 revolver and shot Trooper Pierson, striking him in the heart. Trooper Pierson managed to fire six rounds at the suspect as he sped away. Trooper Pierson died at the scene. The suspect was later apprehended and pleaded guilty to murder.
Dee Rees

Dee Rees

Dee Rees joined the Utah Highway Patrol in 1947. He resided in Bountiful, Davis County, his entire career. On July 2, 1960, Trooper

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Mark Birch attempted to stop a vehicle near Sunset, Utah. When the stolen vehicle attempted to evade the troopers, Troopers Roger Gilmore and Dee Rees set up a roadblock at Farmington Junction, south of Lagoon. The stolen vehicle crashed head-on into Trooper Rees’ patrol car. He died at the scene, as did two fugitive in the stolen vehicle.
Aaron Beesley

Aaron Beesley

Aaron Beesley joined the Utah Highway Patrol in January 2000. He started his career at the Utah State Capitol and served in Weber/Morgan

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County, DPS SERT, Box Elder County, Highway Safety, and the Aero Bureau where he excelled in communications and technology. He was also the assistant Fire Chief of Corinne City F.D. On June 30, 2012, Trooper Beesley was participating in a Search and Rescue mission and had helped rescue two stranded hikers from off of Mount Olympus. While the pilot was delivering the hikers to ground crews, it appears he attempted to retrieve his medical bag and lost his fotting and fell approximately ninety feet to his death.
Robert B. Hutchings

Robert B. Hutchings

Robert B. Hutchings served as a Deputy Sheriff for Sacramento County, California. He later moved to Utah and joined the Utah Department

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of Public Safety on January 2, 1974. He served as an Agent with the Narcotics and Liquor Enforcement Division. On July 20, 1976, Agent Hutchings was assisting the West Jordan Police Department in a drug investigation. Following a drug buy of cocaine, and having obtained a warrant, officers attempted to arrest the suspect. The suspect produced a shotgun and shot Agent Hutchings in the neck. Agent Hutchings returned four rounds of fire from a .380 semi-auto pistol and West Jordan Chief Lance Foster fired 10 rounds from a 9mm submachine gun, killing the suspect.
Trooper Daniel Harris

Trooper Daniel Harris

Trooper Daniel Harris Daniel W. Harris began his police career in 1972 as a police officer with the Phoenix, Arizona Police Dept. In 1975 he

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served for one year as the Chief of Police of Parowan, Utah. In 1976 he became a Deputy Sheriff with Iron County, Utah. He left law enforcement for two years prior to joining the Utah Highway Patrol in March 1979. During the next three and a half years, Trooper Harris served in Field Operations, Internal Affairs, Executive Protection and on the Motorcycle Squad. On August 25, 1982, Trooper Harris was in pursuit of a speeding vehicle, westbound on I-80 in Parleys Canyon. Trooper Harris failed to negotiate a turn and his 1981 Kawasaki motorcycle left the roadway and struck an embankment. Trooper Harris died due to massive head injuries. He was 33 years old and was survived by his wife, Andrea, two daughters and two sons.
Trooper Eric Dale Ellsworth

Trooper Eric Dale Ellsworth

On Friday, November 18, while responding to a call of low hanging power lines near Garland City, Trooper Eric Ellsworth was

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struck by a vehicle and later succumbed to his injuries sustained from the accident. Trooper Ellsworth dedicated 7 years of his life to the Utah Highway Patrol. His first two years were spent in Green River. He spent his final 5 years in Section 1 helping and serving the people of Box Elder County and Northern Utah. Our thoughts and love go to his wife and their three young boys.