Rigby reserve officer dies months after head-on wreck

RIGBY -- A reserve officer for Rigby Police has died, months after he was badly burned in a crash in Utah, the department confirmed.

Bill Gray, who also worked as a truck driver, was driving an 18-wheeler when he was struck head-on by a suspect fleeing from Utah State Patrol July 26.

The other driver was killed in the collision. Gray was rushed to the University of Utah Burn Center in critical condition, with burns over 46 percent of his body.

He died from his injuries Monday after nearly two months in the hospital, Rigby Police said.

MORE: Rigby reserve officer critical after Utah crash

In a Facebook post, the department wrote that Gray would be remembered as "a man of selfless service," always ready to help others in his community.

"Bill was truly the best of mankind. Always willing to help, always willing to go the extra mile," Rigby Police posted. "Bill was a big man, with a bigger heart. Everything about him was generous and kind."

The department  recounted a time when he used his personal ATV to plow a path for local children to get to school during the heavy winter, saving them from having to walk into the street to get around the built-up snow.

"Bill always had a funny story to bring about a laugh. He always did the good thing," the department posted. "This world would be better off with more Bill Grays, and this world is truly darker without his light."

RELATEDViral video highlights patient privacy laws

Gray's accident sparked a nationwide debate after a nurse caring for him at the University of Utah Burn Center was arrested after she refused to allow a a Salt Lake City Police detective to draw his blood without a warrant.

Nurse Alex Wubbels explained to the officer that Gray could not consent to the blood draw because he was unconscious. Detective Jeff Payne's body camera captured footage of him roughly grabbing Wubbels and physically pulling her out of the hospital as she wept and screamed for help.

The video drew widespread outrage, culminating in the hospital changing its rules to not allow police to speak with nurses and staff.

Rigby Police Chief Sam Tower thanked the nurse "for standing firm, and protecting Officer Gray's rights as a patient and victim.”

A GoFundMe account has set up to pay for Gray's hospital bills is still nearly $7,000 short of its goal.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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