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Patrolling Southern Utah

One of the first patrolman assigned to southern Utah was Loren Squire. Loren joined the Utah Highway Patrol on July 5, 1933. After a few days of training in Salt Lake City, Loren returned to LaVerkin and went to work. For the next eight months he did not have a day off. Loren was issued a Model A Ford and a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Besides patrolling four counties: Iron, Washington, Kane and Garfield, Loren was assigned duties at the checking station at Santa Clara.

The roads of that period were compressed gravel. During rainy or dusty weather drivers had difficulty seeing the edge of the road. Patrolmen provided help in getting cars back on the road and helping drivers get gas when they ran out. They issued tickets to motorists who violated posted highway signs, and were prepared to help other police officers apprehend criminals. Patrolmen also sold vehicle registrations and issued driver licenses.

Early Patrolmen would often have to depend on the motoring public to summons assistance because they did not have radio communications. One day, while patrolling US 91 on the Black Ridge, North of St. George, Patrolman Squire was flagged down by a passing motorist. The excited motorist informed Squire of a truck rollover up the road a few miles. Patrolman Squire arrived to find that a large truck had run off the road and rolled into a ravine. The driver, although not seriously injured, was pinned in the overturned truck. Patrolman Squire worked diligently to free the driver, but the driver’s legs were held firmly by the dash and control pedals which had been displaced during the accident. Knowing that other motorists had been instructed to summons help, Patrolman Squire reassured the driver that everything would be all right. Suddenly the truck burst into flames. Patrolman Squire made a frantic effort to free the driver, but was unable to do so. As the flames engulfed the entire vehicle, Squire had to retreat from the searing heat. The screams of the dying driver would stay in Patrolman Squire’s mind the rest of his life.