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SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah Highway Patrol trooper suffered minor injuries when he was forced to jump from a moving semi after the driver ignored commands not to drive through a closed road, according to the UHP.
The incident happened about 7:20 a.m. Tuesday on I-215 on the west belt loop. UHP Lt. Nick Street said the trooper noticed a fuel spill at the top of the 1300 South off-ramp and decided to close the road until it could be cleaned up.
While traffic was being closed in the area, a semitruck with no trailers pulled up to the closure area, Street said. The truck stopped as the trooper jumped up on the passenger side to talk to the driver through the window, he said.
The trooper told the driver that the road was closed and he needed to find another exit. For an unknown reason, the driver ignored the trooper’s commands and started driving again while the trooper was still hanging onto the rig, Street said.
The trooper jumped from the semi and rolled several times, causing minor injuries to shoulders, arms and back, Street said.
The incident was witnessed by a Utah Department of Transportation worker who was helping with the road closure. From the UDOT employee’s viewpoint, he believed the trooper had actually been hit by the semi and sent out an urgent call on his work radio for help, according to the lieutenant.
The semi was later located near 300 West and 3300 South where the driver was taken into custody, Street said. The driver, whose name was not released as of Tuesday morning, could faces charges that include aggravated assault on a police officer, fleeing and not obeying an officer;’s commands, he said.
This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News