Utah Department of Public Safety

Highway Patrol - Valor

On July 12, 1956, Trooper Dee Rees and Sergeant Ray Evans were called to an overpass on U-108 near the Clearfield Naval Supply Depot. A moving company had been transporting a large section of warehouse over the east viaduct crossing the Union Pacific tracks and was caught on several power lines. Upon arrival, Trooper Rees saw the foreman, Joe Viehwig, attempting to force the lines over the ridge of the building. Mr. Viehwig made contact with one of the lines and received 2,300 volts of electricity. The jolt knocked him unconscious; however, he still had a grip on the wire. Trooper Rees jumped from his patrol car, located a wooden jack handle and climbed on top of the building. Dee lifted the line from Mr. Viehwig’s grip and began artificial respiration. Within a few minutes, Viehwig began coughing. He was transported to the McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden and was treated for third degree burns on his right leg, second degree burns on his hands, and abrasions on his face, which occurred when he fell. Trooper Rees later learned that the victim’s father and brother were both killed in the house-moving business. His father was killed two months earlier when he was run over by a moving truck and his brother two years earlier when electrocuted in an accident similar to Mr. Viehwig’s. There is no doubt that Trooper Rees’ actions saved Mr. Viehwig’s life.

[Last Update - Friday, 20-Dec-2013 11:16:02 MST]