Howard Osterkamp, a veteran of the korean war, spoke of his comrades in arms and the sacrifices they made, saying, “All gave some, some gave all.” This phrase is inscribed nationwide upon memorials for fallen soldiers and fallen law enforcement officers. It illustrates the sacrifice brave men and women make to preserve freedom. The maxim is fitting for the ultimate sacrifice made by Trooper Eric Ellsworth, our brother in brown. Trooper Ellsworth joined the Utah Highway Patrol in 2009 and dedicated his life to serving and protecting. He was first assigned to Section 13, District C and worked in the Green River area. After two years, he transferred to Section 1, Box Elder County, and was most recently assigned to District C. For seven years, Trooper Ellsworth strove to fulfil the office of a UHP trooper and make the world a better, safer place. During the course of his duties on November 18th, 2016, Trooper Ellsworth was working to stop vehicles from striking a low-hanging power line near Garland on SR-13. There were no street lights in the area and it would have been difficult for the public to see the power line after the sun had set. As Trooper Ellsworth attempted to stop a semi before it hit the power line, he was struck by a second motorist and was critically injured. Despite excellent medical care, many prayers, and much faith exercised on his behalf, Trooper Ellsworth passed away on November 23rd.
He is survived by his wife, Janica, their three sons, Bennett, Ian, and Oliver, his parents Ron and Margie, and eight siblings.
The service our troopers provide is critical to the safety and quality of life that all of us enjoy throughout our great state. Eric represented the finest example of our Utah Highway Patrol team. He will be remembered for his great professionalism, courage, the very caring way he provided his service to help those in need and for his smile and genuine friendship to those he served with. His father Ron was also a trooper, who’s great example guided Eric so honorably to follow in his footsteps.
I want to thank you all for your concern and prayers for Eric and his loving family. My words can’t adequately describe how much we will miss Eric, but I can confidently assure you that we will never forget him, his dedicated service and his dear family who will carry on his amazing legacy.
Please keep Janica and their three wonderful sons in your prayers. Our love and support is especially needed at this time. Our thoughts and prayers of comfort are also with the young lady who was involved in this accident.
I’m so grateful for the men and women who serve bravely in our UHP in often very dangerous situations. Please know how we all stand with you and appreciate you as we honor Eric’s inspiring life of service and solemnly mourn his passing.
To all of my DPS family, it’s incredible to see all you are doing to help Eric’s family. Thank you for showing how much you care. Please be well and safe.
Keith D. Squires
Commissioner, Utah Department of Public Safety
It is with a heavy heart and deep sorrow that I write this On Friday, November 18, while responding to a call of low hanging power lines near Garland City, Trooper Eric Ellsworth was struck by a vehicle and critically injured. Late last night, after a long fight, he succumbed to his injuries surrounded by his family and and fellow troopers.
Trooper Ellsworth was 32 years old and loved by his wife Janica with their three sons, Bennett, Ian and Oliver; and his father, retired trooper Ron Ellsworth and mother “Margie” Ellsworth.
Eric dedicated the last 7 years of his life to the Utah Highway Patrol and serving the state of Utah. His first two years were spent in Section 9, Green River, and he spent his final 5 years in Section 1 helping and serving the people of Box Elder County and Northern Utah. Our thoughts and love are with Eric, and his family. The passing of Eric has brought to focus the commitment and dedication of the law enforcement and public safety family.
The outpouring of support our department has received has been profound. Not only has it been noticed by our Troopers and staff, but by the Ellsworth family, too. Thank you for your continued support. The overwhelming hurt and sorrow that each of us feel is an absolute testimony to how much we loved and looked up to Eric. He continues to be giant and a hero among us. We will always miss him, he will always be with us, and we will never forget him.
Many of you have asked how you can help. An account at America First Credit Union has been set up for Eric’s family: “Eric Ellsworth Charitable Account.”
Please keep your thoughts and prayers with the Ellsworth family during this difficult time. Our team will keep you updated on further developments and planing for memorial services. A formal statement will be provided to news outlets later this morning.
Colonel Mike Rapich