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A Utah nurse who refused to draw blood from an unconscious truck driver following a crash has accused a police officer of assaulting her and arresting her illegally.
Nurse Refuses To Draw Blood From Severely Injured Trucker
The incident took place on July 26 at University Hospital in Salt Lake City. In the incident, which was captured on police body cam video, burn unit nurse Alex Wubbels refuses Salt Lake City Police Detective Jeff Payne’s order to draw blood from Idaho-based truck driver William Gray, who was severely injured following his involvement in a fatal crash.
Wubbels said that she was unable to draw blood from Gray unless he was under arrest, unless there was a warrant for the blood test, or unless the sedated truck driver gave consent. Following this refusal, you can see Payne physically force Wubbels outside of the hospital as she screams for help. The incident ended in Wubbels’ arrest.
Trucker Badly Burned After Suspect Fleeing Police Crashes Into Him Head On
Earlier in the day, Gray had been hauling sand along U.S. 89/91 in Cache County, Utah, when his rig was hit head on by a pickup driven by 26 year old Marcos Torres, who was fleeing from Utah Highway Patrol troopers.
According to a release from UHP, “When the trooper tried to pull the car over, it fled. Troopers continued to follow the pickup truck, but at that point the pickup truck reached a high rate of speed. For an unknown reason the pickup truck crossed the median and collided head-on with a semi-truck.”
— Salt Lake Tribune (@sltrib) July 27, 2017
Torres died following the crash. Gray was able to make his way out of his truck, but was on fire. He suffered severe burns during the incident.
The Utah Highway Patrol later released dash cam video from the incident.
Both Nurse And Detective Say They Were Trying To Protect Trucker
After Gray was transported to the hospital, the altercation between Wubbels and Payne took place. Payne says that he was trying to obtain blood from Gray in order to protect him from liability in the crash. Payne also argued that he believed that he had “implied consent” to collect a blood sample, but the state law that would have supported his claim was changed ten years ago.
Wubbels was not criminally charged. She has not yet taken legal action against the police, but she has left the option on the table.
You can watch body cam video from the incident below.[/su_youtube]
Wubbels says that she was simply acting to protect the unconscious truck driver: “A blood draw, it just gets thrown around like it’s some simple thing. But your blood is your blood. That’s your property.”
Payne remains on active duty pending the results of an internal investigation.
Gray is still in serious condition.