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Patient at center of Utah nurse’s high-profile arrest dies

A hospitalized officer who a Utah nurse said she was protecting when she refused to allow police to draw his blood died late Monday night.

William Gray, 43, a commercial truck driver and reserve police officer, succumbed to injuries he suffered during a fiery July 26 crash that left him with burns over nearly half his body, University of Utah Health spokeswoman Suzanne Winchester said.

Gray was unconscious at the Salt Lake City hospital when police detective Jeff Payne asked to draw his blood hours after the crash. 

The incident escalated and made national headlines when nurse Alex Wubbels refused to draw Gray’s blood because hospital policy required a warrant or patient consent. 

Payne then violently handcuffed Wubbels and dragged her outside the hospital in a shocking arrest that caused national outrage. 

Payne was suspended following the incident. 

 

William Gray (pictured with his wife April), 43, a commercial truck driver and reserve police officer, succumbed to injuries he suffered during a fiery July 26 crash that left him with burns over nearly half his body

Alex Wubbels refused to draw Gray's blood because hospital policy required a warrant or patient consent

Gray was unconscious at the Salt Lake City hospital when police detective Jeff Payne (pictured with his arms folded) asked to draw his blood after the crash

Gray was unconscious at the Salt Lake City hospital when police detective Jeff Payne (right with his arms folded) asked to draw his blood after the crash. But nurse Alex Wubbels (left) refused to draw Gray’s blood because hospital policy required a warrant or patient consent

Gray was hauling a load of sand in northern Utah when a pickup truck speeding away from police crossed the center line and hit his truck head-on, causing an explosion.

Video of the terryifing explosion was caught on police dashcam and released in July. The video shows the moment the vehicle slams into Gray’s truck and bursts into flames.  

State police had been trying to pull over Marcos Torres, 26, who was driving the pickup, after several people called 911 to report he was driving recklessly.

Gray, of Rigby, Idaho, was on fire, but was able to get out of his vehicle and was extinguished by a Highway Patrol trooper. He was burned on 46 per cent of his body. 

Dramatic video of Wubbels' arrest (pictured) caught widespread attention online amid national scrutiny of police use of force

Dramatic video of Wubbels’ arrest (pictured) caught widespread attention online amid national scrutiny of police use of force

Payne violently handcuffed Wubbels (pictured) and drug her outside of the hospital

Payne violently handcuffed Wubbels (pictured) and drug her outside of the hospital

Officer Payne (pictured arresting Wubbels) was later suspended over the incident

Officer Payne (pictured arresting Wubbels) was later suspended over the incident

Medical crews transported Gray to Logan Regional Hospital, where he was later air-lifted to the University of Utah Hospital. 

Though Gray was not suspected of wrongdoing, Torres died in the crash and Utah police routinely collect such evidence from everyone involved in fatal crashes.

Dramatic video of Wubbels’ arrest caught widespread attention online amid national scrutiny of police use of force. 

Payne and the supervisor who backed him, Lt James Tracy, were placed on leave amid internal and criminal investigations.

Salt Lake City police apologized and Chief Mike Brown is now considering possible discipline. 

The officers’ union has defended Payne and Tracy, saying they have been unfairly made into pariahs.

Last week, Payne’s lawyer said his client would ‘love the chance to sit down and apologize for what happened here’.

Gray was hauling a load of sand in northern Utah when a pickup truck speeding away from police crossed the center line and hit his truck head-on, causing an explosion. Video (pictured) of the terryifing explosion was caught on police dashcam and released in July

Gray was hauling a load of sand in northern Utah when a pickup truck speeding away from police crossed the center line and hit his truck head-on, causing an explosion. Video (pictured) of the terryifing explosion was caught on police dashcam and released in July

The video shows the moment the vehicle slams into Gray's truck and bursts into flames (pictured). State police had been trying to pull over Marcos Torres, 26, who was driving the pickup, after several people called 911 to report he was driving recklessly

The video shows the moment the vehicle slams into Gray’s truck and bursts into flames (pictured). State police had been trying to pull over Marcos Torres, 26, who was driving the pickup, after several people called 911 to report he was driving recklessly

‘If he could do this over, he would do it differently,’ Payne’s attorney said. 

The Rigby Police Department previously thanked Wubbels for her efforts to protect Gray’s rights and prevent his blood from being drawn.

Chief Sam Tower said Gray was dedicated to the community of about 4,000 people and plowed snow from a sidewalk last winter so neighborhood kids wouldn’t have to walk in the street.

‘Bill was truly the best of mankind,’ Rigby police said in a Facebook post.

‘Always willing to help, always willing to go the extra mile. Bill was a big man, with a bigger heart. Everything about him was generous and kind.’

‘We would like to offer our condolences to his wife, April, and their loved ones,’ the post read. 

Tower previously thanked Wubbels for her efforts to protect Gray’s rights and prevent his blood from being drawn.

Gray, of Rigby, Idaho, was on fire, but was able to get out of his truck (pictured) and was extinguished by a Highway Patrol trooper. He was burned on 46 per cent of his body

Gray, of Rigby, Idaho, was on fire, but was able to get out of his truck (pictured) and was extinguished by a Highway Patrol trooper. He was burned on 46 per cent of his body

Though Gray was not suspected of wrongdoing, Torres died in the crash (pictured) and Utah police routinely collect such evidence from everyone involved in fatal crashes

Though Gray was not suspected of wrongdoing, Torres died in the crash (pictured) and Utah police routinely collect such evidence from everyone involved in fatal crashes

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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