Clipped From The Daily Spectrum
SLC Police officer charged with negligent homicide for fatal crash Associated Press SALT LAKE CITY A police officer was charged with negligent homicide for running a red light in his cruiser and hitting hitting another car in the intersection, intersection, killing a 27-year-old 27-year-old 27-year-old 27-year-old 27-year-old commuter. commuter. Joseph James Corbett, 31, an officer for the Salt Lake City suburb of Taylorsville, was joining joining a chase for a man with outstanding outstanding warrants in a stolen vehicle who was eventually captured. captured. "Charges against a police officer officer are never approached lightly," District Attorney Lohra Miller said Friday in a statement. "Every day, officers put their lives on the line, and they should be commended for that devotion. However, after much deliberation deliberation and counsel, I agree that this case rises to a criminal level and should be prosecuted," The decision to prosecute Corbett, who had his lights and sirens on and was rushing to deliver a set of road spikes for other officers, wasn't fully explained, explained, and it wasn't clear what procedures the officer might have violated. Miller didn't respond to an e-mail e-mail e-mail from The Associated Press on Saturday or a telephone message relayed by her spokesman, prosecutor Robert Stott. Two Salt Lake City newspapers newspapers reported that court papers filed with the misdemeanor negligent negligent homicide charge accuse Corbett of failing to notify a dispatcher dispatcher he was participating in the chase. Corbett wasn't authorized to respond to the emergency, according to The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret Morning News. . But Corbett's attorney, Ed Brass, said dispatchers could not have authorized Corbett to participate in the chase, and it wasn't clear how the officer was to have sought approval. Brass said that if failing to notify dispatchers dispatchers was Corbett's mistake, that still wouldn't have prevented prevented the crash. "It's a tough job. It just got tougher," Brass told the Morning News. "It's an awfully tough job we ask of these (officers). It's a tragedy for his family and the family of the young man who died as well. These are extraordinarily extraordinarily sad cases. There are no winners no matter what happens." happens." Corbett was traveling 58 mph in a 40 mph zone, according to court documents, although it wasn't clear if he slowed for the intersection. He collided with John Terry Douglas of Tooele, who died at the scene. The officer remains on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal police review.