SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Hitting a patrol car isn’t the best way to end a traffic stop, but it worked out for one 87-year-old Nevada woman rushing to see her ailing son 350 miles away in Utah.
Four Utah Highway Patrol troopers ferried Helen “Skeeter” Smith across Utah on Friday, each driving her part of the way to an Ogden hospital where her son was being treated for an unnamed condition.
The Panaca, Nevada, woman was pulled over for driving too closely to Trooper Jeff Jones’ patrol car at about 7 p.m. Friday in the central Utah town of Fillmore.
“He was all nice,” Smith said. “Oh, yeah. He was just doing his job.”
Jones let her go with a warning. But as Smith drove away, she accidently put her car in reverse and hit his patrol car. She told him where she was going while they dealt with the dent.
Convinced it might not be safe for Smith to drive, Jones arranged for her car to be moved to a secure place and be picked up by her family. He then drove Smith north to Juab County, where Trooper Jared Jensen picked her up and escorted her to Utah County.
There, they met up with Trooper Chris Bishop, and he drove Smith to Salt Lake County. Trooper Andrew Pollard then completed the approximately 180-mile journey to Ogden Regional Medical Center with her. They arrived at 10:30 p.m.
“She was very excited to tell me about her dogs, her cat and her hometown,” Pollard said. “To hold her hand walking into the hospital was very, very rewarding.”
Smith said she was grateful she didn’t have to brave the freeway alone late at night.
Plus, she enjoyed her travel companions. “Four good-lookin’ patrol boys brought me,” she told KUTV.
Smith said her son Randy isn’t doing well, but she’s glad to be with him for treatment.