Drunk Driver Hits Stopped Patrol Car

Damaged Patrol Car -- Courtesy of Wyoming Highway Patrol

A drunk driver had what might be considered an unusual run-in with the law.

News Director Leslie Stratmoen has the story.

A drunken hit-and-run driver from Rock Springs was caught in the act. He ran into a state highway patrol trooper stopped alongside the road filling out a report. After rear-ending the patrol car he continued on, but the trooper chased him down the road and got him to stop.

Sgt. Stephen Townsend of the Wyoming Highway Patrol released the information and identified the driver as 21-year-old William Lewis. The sergeant said the driver was arrested for DUI, leaving the scene of a crash, failure to maintain a single lane of travel and failing to move over for an emergency vehicle.

The trooper was not injured, but his patrol car sustained about $2,000 worth of damage. According to the report, the incident happened in the early morning hours, Sunday, just after 1 o'clock on the shoulder of Interstate 80, about three miles west of Rock Springs. The report does say the trooper's emergency lights were flashing and the trooper saw the vehicle approach from behind but was unable to move fast enough to drive his vehicle out of the way.

In light of the incident, the patrol is reminding drivers that Wyoming's “Move Over” law was put in place as a measure of safety for emergency workers. According to the law, a motorist must merge into the lane farthest away from a stopped emergency vehicle when driving on an interstate or other highway that has two or more lanes. If it's a two-lane, drivers must slow to 20 mph less than the posted speed limit.