Sheriff's sergeant dies during traffic stop
August 14th, 2008 @ 4:59pm
By Randall Jeppesen
A Wasatch County sheriff's sergeant is dead after he collapsed during a traffic stop.
In Provo Canyon, just below the Deer Creek dam, Sgt. G. Scott Hathcock was pulling over Grace Waitt for speeding. She says everything appeared normal as he asked for her license and registration.
"I was looking for my registration, and when I turned around, he had collapsed onto the ground," Waitt said.
Other drivers, like Mark Shaw, pulled over when they saw something was wrong. Soon after, Hathcock stopped breathing, and they started CPR.
"We tried with what equipment that we had, you know, tried to work on him," Shaw said.
A medical team later pronounced Hathcock dead at the scene. The medical examiner will have to determine if it was a heart attack or something else that killed the 48-year-old sergeant.
Hathcock had no known medical condition that could explain his sudden death, his supervisor said. "He was one of the two or three in our office you'd least expect to have problems," sheriff's Capt. John Rogers said.
Hathcock, of Heber City, had been a full-time Wasatch County deputy since April 2007. He was retired from the Utah Highway Patrol, where he worked for more than 20 years.
"Sgt. Hathcock was the ultimate professional and was respected by all who worked with him," Sheriff Ken Van Wagoner in a statement. "He will be greatly missed."
Rogers said the motorist won't be ticketed for speeding. "We'll be sending her a letter thanking her for her efforts," he said.
A trust fund for Sgt. Hathcock's family has been set up in his name at Zions Bank. Contributions may be made at any Zions Bank office.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story. Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)