The following is a news release from a family spokesperson for William and April Gray.
SALT LAKE CITY – On July 26, 2017, William “Bill” Gray, a truck driver and reserve police officer from Rigby, was hit head-on by a man in a pickup truck who was fleeing the police.
The high-speed chase and accident occurred on northbound U.S. Highway 89 near Wellsville, Utah, a few miles southwest of Logan, Utah. The explosive impact of the two trucks instantly engulfed Bill’s semi-truck in flames.
Still, Bill was able to stop and exit his truck and police were able to put out the flames on his body. He was rushed by ambulance to Logan Regional Hospital, and later life flighted to the University of Utah Burn Center. Doctors stated that 46 percent of his body was severely burned, and he had a 22 percent chance of living.
Bill remains in critical condition at the University of Utah Burn Center. He has already received a number of procedures to remove burned skin, three skin grafts and pre-grafting procedures on his legs, stomach and chest. His hands are also severely burned and will need surgeries and extensive therapy as he recovers. He is also fighting off infections in the burns and pneumonia in his lungs.
Despite the situation, Bill’s wife, April Gray, wants the other driver’s family to know she is saddened for their loss.
“I’m truly sorry they are hurting and that they have lost their son. I wish them well as they are mourning and healing,” Gray said.
Shortly after Bill arrived at the burn center, Salt Lake City police arrived to conduct a blood draw to test for illicit substances in his blood. University hospital nurse Alex Wubbels refused to draw the blood, quoting hospital policy. She was arrested on the spot but later released without charges.
In response to this situation, April stated, “I’m glad she [nurse Wubbles] was protecting my husband and I love our police community. I’m deeply grateful to the Logan police officers who helped Bill on the scene of the accident, as well as all the medical staff who have treated him since then. They have all been wonderful.”
April is taking time off work to be at her husband’s side as he continues to fight for his life in Salt Lake City.
“It’s been up and down,” she said, but she is trying to stay positive and hopeful. She is grateful for the many blessings they have received since the accident, from friends and family taking care of them while they’re away from home. The staff at the University of Utah Burn Center have also been a huge blessing.
“I have loved the nurses and doctors. If I have a question about what they’re doing or why they’re doing it they’ll answer it for me. It is such a comfort to be able to understand what is happening,” April states. She also thanks everyone who has donated to help pay for the mounting, unexpected medical and travel expenses, and to all those who are praying for Bill’s recovery.
Bill has been a semi-truck driver for 8 years and has also served as a reserve police officer in Rigby for five years.
“He is a good dude, one of the nicest, most genuine people you could meet,” Rigby Police Chief Sam Tower told the Logan Herald the day after the accident. “He has been nothing but faithful and diligent in his service.”
Two donation accounts have been set up to help Bill and April with medical and recovery expenses.
In person, by mail, or via bill pay:
Zion’s Bank-William Gray Fund
149 W. Main Street, Rexburg, ID 83440