Watch: Utah trooper reunites with doctor who saved his life nearly 45 years ago
The doctor was traveling to the airport when he noticed the wounded trooper on the side of the road after he’d been shot during a traffic stop
By Ashley Silver
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Highway Patrol trooper Ralph Evans’ life was spared nearly 45 years ago thanks to a doctor that happened to spot the officer on the side of a road after he’d been shot.
Recently, the trooper got the opportunity to reunite with the man who saved his life.
KSL News spoke with Evans about the moments leading up to what could have been the last day of his life. The trooper was on his way to assist with a traffic accident when he was flagged down by two girls. They told the officer they had been assaulted by a man in a Jeep parked a short distance down the road but managed to escape.
Evans located the man, who was intoxicated, and had begun handcuffing him when, suddenly, the suspect’s 13-year-old son shot the trooper twice – once in the neck and once in the lower back.
"I tried to move and I couldn't move ... but I could feel blood coming out of my head," Evans recalled. "And as I lay there wondering what was going to happen, if I was going to die, I heard somebody say, 'I'm a doctor and I'll do all I can to help you.'"
Dr. Stanley Green was passing by shortly after Evans was shot while on his way to the airport with his family. The encounter seemed to be predestined since Green didn't need to be at the airport for another three hours, but he and his wife both felt compelled to leave early that day.
"I still look back at that time as being kind of a miracle both in my life and I think in his life, because we both felt like we should leave three hours early to go to the airport," Green said. "Had we been a few minutes late, he would have been dead. Had we been a few minutes early, he would have been dead. I still remember that. I don't remember everything in my life, but I still remember that."
Green and Evans reunited after Evans appeared on the WAM Safety podcast and shared his story. Host Wendy Jensen-Nicholls put them in touch.
"When I first saw him, I felt like I had known him and we were best friends," Green said. "I don't know how to explain it, but it was like the 45 years collapsed to nothing."
Both Green and Evans received citations from the Utah Legislature and thunderous applause could be heard in the House of Representatives in Salt Lake City as they accepted their awards.
In an interview after appearing on the floors of the Utah House and Senate, Evans said he appreciates the citation but feels that Green deserves all of the credit for saving his life.
"If Dr. Green hadn't got there just when he did, I'd have bled out," Evans said. "What do you give someone who saves your life? I offered him anything I could give him. Green gave me 44 years. By all rights, I shouldn't be here."
Green hopes their story will inspire others to look out for those they come across in need.
"If you see something, you should stop and try to help," Green said. "We never should pass on. We should always try to help everyone and all of us can do things to change society."