Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image Mark Johnson, 37 of Stansbury Park, crashed his truck and died while trying to evade police. photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol

January 21, 2014
Stansbury man killed in vehicle crash while evading local police

A Stansbury Park man was killed after his vehicle crashed while trying to evade police Saturday night.

A little after 5 p.m., deputies from the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a domestic problem on Porter Way, which is northwest of the Benson Gristmill, said Lt. Travis Scharmann of the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies were advised to locate suspect Mark Johnson, 37, and his white Ford Ranger, but they could not find him.

An ambulance had been called for Johnson several hours earlier that day because he had displayed some erratic behavior, Scharmann said. The man was taken to Mountain West Medical Center for evaluation, but was later released.

Afterward, Johnson and his wife apparently got into an argument, which reportedly escalated into a domestic situation, added Scharmann. Johnson’s wife contacted a religious leader and was taken to a shelter. She told deputies she last saw her husband parked near the couple’s home, Scharmann said, so deputies were instructed to contact him to get his side of the story of what happened during the argument.

About 50 minutes later, a sergeant from the sheriff’s office noticed a truck matching the description and a check of the truck’s license plate confirmed it was Johnson’s vehicle. The officer tried to pull the driver over with lights and sirens, but the man instead fled.

“It didn’t really get to be a chase because he rolled before it turned into [a chase],” said Scharmann.

Less than a mile into the pursuit on westbound SR-138, the driver jerked the wheel to the left, which caused the truck to roll and hit a power pole.

The driver, identified as Johnson, was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected, said Trooper Evan Kirby of the Utah Highway Patrol.

The impact also caused a power outage to a portion of Stansbury Park. Scharmann said the crash severed the power pole, requiring crews to restructure power lines to restore power to affected homes.

Johnson was transported to Mountain West Medical Center for medical care, but was later pronounced dead at the hospital, Scharmann said.

Lisa Christensen

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Lisa covers primarily crime and courts, military affairs, Stansbury Park government and transportation issues. She is a graduate of Utah State University, where she double-majored in journalism and music, and Grantsville High School.

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