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Murray • Family members of Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Eric Ellsworth, who was critically injured in an on-duty accident, expressed their "immense gratitude" Tuesday for the support they have received from the public.

"Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the outpouring of love and concern, and for the faith and prayers of family, friends, and the millions of you out there of all faiths and walks of life who are pulling for Eric," the trooper's brother-in-law, Jason Moyes, said in a statement on behalf of the family.

Moyes, speaking at a news conference at Intermountain Medical Center, where his brother-in-law is being treated, said Ellsworth remains in extremely critical condition.

"He has already defied the odds and continues to fight this very minute here in this hospital for his life," Moyes said.

Ellsworth was injured Friday while he was assisting at the scene of a downed power line near 13600 North on State Road 13 in Garland in Box Elder County.

The trooper was trying to alert the driver of a semitrailer truck around the power line when a southbound car driven by a teenage girl hit him just before 10 p.m., according to the Utah Highway Patrol.

The girl was not hurt and the cause of the incident remains under investigation.

Moyes said that the family knows "this was a tragic accident."

"Collectively as a family, we want this young lady to know of our love for her," he said. "Our prayers have been there for you and your family."

Ellsworth, a seven-year UHP veteran, followed in his father's footsteps and is a second-generation trooper. He lives in Brigham City with his wife, Janica, and their three young sons.

Moyes said Ellsworth is an Eagle Scout and served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Canada Winnipeg mission. He also said his brother-in-law loves his job.

"Eric loves the officers he works with and is dedicated to the responsibility of protecting and serving the members and visitors of this state," Moyes said.

The family has gotten inquiries from the public about how to help, Moyes said. He said Janica Ellsworth has an online blog that allows her to stay home with her sons and that any purchases made by clicking through the links at will help the family.

In addition, he said, donations are being accepted at America First Credit Union under the name "Eric Ellsworth Family Charitable Account."

Twitter: PamelaMansonSLC