Alleged thief caught red-handed after 4 car pile-up

Published 05/23 2014 05:52PM

Updated 05/23 2014 06:20PM

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) - An alleged thief was caught red handed after causing a four care pile-up that closed a major highway. 

This morning, crumpled cars filled state road 201 near 5600 West.  Witnesses told ABC4 Utah the pile-up started with a truck. 

"This truck was coming at a high rate of speed behind him and I mean he clobbered them, clobbered them," said AJ Pasela of Sandy.

The Salt Lake Police Department told ABC4 Utah that 41-year-old Tayne Pendleton drove that truck into an Audi in front of him creating a domino effect. 

"That audi was shoved up into a couple of other cars," Sargent Jeff Webb said. 

Witnesses believe the scene may have scared Pendleton. 

 Pasela said, "He started walking away and looked like he was gonna run so we went and got him and brought him back." 

The accident damaged at least four cars and forced crews to close the northbound lanes of 5600 West.  However, it was what was inside Pendleton's truck that got him into trouble. 

"We found some concealed weapons on him," Webb said.  "There was also a handgun in the car."  Pendleton also had a slew of stolen IDs and credit cards.  

However, there was a surprising twist to one of the first responders on scene. 

"When one of the responding paramendics from West Valley City arrived, and they got to the scene, he realized that the trailer that's on the truck that the individual is driving is his," Webb said. 

Alek House was that responding paramedic.  He told ABC4 Utah he was shocked to find his trailer on scene.  

"I noticed my flatbed trailer involved in a motor vehicle accident," he said. 

Officers believed Pendleton stole the trailer while house was on duty.  

While it may be damaged House and his fellow first responders say it could have been worse. 

"Fortunately no real minor injuries to all involved parties," Webb said.  "No one was transported to the hospital." 

Officers told ABC4 Utah that Pendleton may have been driving drunk.  He is now in the Salt Lake Metro Jail awaiting charges. 5600 West is open to all traffic. 

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