Utah man hit by vehicle at airport; police say driver lost control of rental car

Dan Smith

salt lake city — A father in Utah is recovering in hospital after being hit by a car that struck multiple vehicles at the airport. David Hamer, 60, was at Salt Lake City International Airport Monday morning after renting a car. He was walking to his rental car in the parking lot when he heard a loud noise behind him. “I heard this engine roar and wheels creak and I turned around just in time,” said 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 driver, an employee of a rental car company, lost control while driving a vehicle with accessibility features that impeded his ability to drive. He crashed into several parked cars and forced another into a Hummer. Police said the driver was cooperating with the ongoing investigation. "Paramedics estimate he was going at least 40 mph and the car that injured me was going at least 20 mph," 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," Elayne said. Hamer's pelvis was broken in three places. His recovery in hospital is slow but steady. Hamer said support from his family has helped him get through it all. "Some of the kids are spending the night with Elayne, so they've been 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 customer, they would have died," he said. "Their families would be planning funerals."