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Utah father hit by car at airport; police say driver lost control of handicap-accessible vehicle

Estimated duration: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah father is recovering in a hospital after being hit by a car that smashed into multiple vehicles at the airport.

David Hamer, 60, was renting a car at Salt Lake International Airport on Monday morning. As he walked to his rental car in the parking lot, he heard a loud noise behind him.

“I turned around just in time when I heard this engine roar and wheel creak,” said David Hamer. “I was smashed between his 3,800-pound car and his 5,000-pound car. It was immediately clear that my pelvis was broken.”

Salt Lake Police said the incident was caused by a car rental company employee who lost control while driving a handicapped vehicle with accessibility features. He crashed into several parked cars and forced another into a Hummer. Police said the driver was cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

“Paramedics estimated he was traveling at least 40 mph when he hit the end of the line, and the car that injured me was traveling 20 mph when it collided.” Hamer said. “They said if I was smaller or less muscular than this, they wouldn’t have thought I would survive.”

Good Samaritans, including a third-year medical student who traveled from Alabama to Utah, came to her aid. He called Hamer’s wife, Elaine. Elaine rushed back to the airport where she had just dropped off her husband.

“It was terrifying. I mean, I don’t want to see my husband lying on the ground with paramedics,” Elaine Wells-Hammer said.

Hamer’s pelvis was broken in three places. His recovery in hospital is slow but steady. Hamer said the support from his family has helped him get through it all.

“Some of the kids were spending the night with Elayne, so they were great,” he said.

It is my hope that through this accident, all drivers will become aware of their surroundings and know how to operate the vehicle they intend to drive.

“If that had happened to the average consumer, they would be dead now,” he said. “Their families would be planning their funerals.”

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Ashley Moser

Ashley Moser joined KSL in January 2016. She anchored her KSL 5 Live at 5 with Mike Headrick, and KSL 5 News she reports at 10.

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