Monday, February 24 2014, 03:09 PM MST
Trooper Escapes Injury After Semi Clips Patrol Car
(KUTV) A close call for a Utah Highway Patrol trooper Sunday morning, when his car was sideswiped by a semi-truck speeding along I-15.
Trooper James Wright was inside his patrol car just after 6 a.m., finishing the paperwork on a traffic stop, when the massive truck slammed into the side of his vehicle.
"It was a pretty dramatic hit," Utah Highway Patrol Lieutenant Rich Christianson told 2News, "80 thousand pounds is a lot of momentum to be coming at you."
Lt. Christianson says Trooper Wright was shaken up, but uninjured, and described looking up and seeing the semi just inches from his face. He says they realize this is a risk they take in this line of work, but it's unusual for the close call to happen twice in just ten weeks with the same trooper.
Trooper Wright was outside of his car in December when a Ford truck plowed into the back of his cruiser. The car was nearly totaled, but Trooper Wright was not hurt.
In this case, dashcam video from Trooper Wright's vehicle shows the accident. The car can be seen shaking as it's hit by the truck, and then the trooper immediately follows after the driver failed to pull over. You can hear the trooper ask the driver, "What's up dude?" The driver responded with, "Did I hit you?"
Lehi police were called in to investigate and administered a field sobriety test. Half way through the test, the driver identified as Steven Sturgis Bill, 49, allegedly took off running and was tackled by officers. Bill, from the Las Vegas area, is now behind bars in the Utah County jail and is facing a number of charges including DUI, drug possession, resisting arrest and traffic violations.
By Amy Nay
(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)