Utah cops give elderly woman 180-mile ride to ailing son after she crashes into patrol car
A Utah state trooper helped an elderly woman travel nearly 200 miles to visit her ailing son in a hospital after stopping her for a traffic violation.
Trooper Jeff Jones pulled over 87-year-old Helen “Skeeter” Smith on Friday night after she passed a stopped police cruiser with its light flashing on the side of Interstate 15 in Millard County, authorities said.
Utah law requires drivers to slow down and move away from stopped police vehicles to prevent crashes.
Jones issued the Panaca, Nevada, woman a verbal warning, but the trooper said Smith accidentally backed into his patrol car as she attempted to drive away.
Smith told the trooper she had very bad eyesight and could hardly see, and the trooper told the woman it would probably be unsafe for her to continue driving.
“Then she started crying and told me about (her son’s) condition and what treatment he was under and how they had moved him to ICU,” said Jones, an 11-year veteran.
Smith’s son was hospitalized in Salt Lake City – about 180 miles away.
The trooper told Smith he was uncomfortable letting her drive, and he said the woman became hysterical.
So the trooper arranged to move Smith’s car to a sheriff’s department parking lot and coordinated a shuttle system with troopers in other counties to get the woman to the hospital.
Jones shuttled the woman himself to Juab County, where Trooper Jared Jensen drove Smith to Utah County, where Trooper Chris Bishop drove her to Salt Lake County and dropped her off with Trooper Andrew Pollard.
Pollard drove her to the hospital, where Smith was able to visit her son.
A spokesman for the Utah Highway Patrol said Jones was not directed by a supervisor to assist the woman, but he did the right thing by providing the service Smith needed.
“I just decided she needed help and we do help shuttle people once in a while — so why not her?” Jones said.
Watch this video report posted online by ABC News: