ADAMS COUNTY - A Colorado State Patrol trooper was hit on the shoulder of northbound Interstate 25 near 58th Avenue when his vehicle was struck from behind by another vehicle Tuesday morning.
According to Colorado State Patrol, the trooper - later identified as 46-year-old Clinton Stanton - was taken to North Suburban Medical Center with minor injuries. He has since been released from the hospital.
He had stopped a driver to let them know they were spilling their load when his vehicle was hit by another driver. The trooper was inside the vehicle at the time of the crash. Trooper Stanton has been with CSP for 12 years.
The driver, later identified as 21-year-old Jose Ramirez, ran away after the right wheel of his car came off but was later located by Adams County deputies. Alcohol is suspected to be a factor in this crash, Denver Police say.
Ramirez has an extensive criminal history that includes drug charges, driving under a suspended license and other traffic violations. He now faces potential charges for DUI, failure to yield and leaving the scene of an accident.
This comes less than a week after a Denver Police officer who was conducting a traffic stop was hit by a suspected drunk driver on I-25 near 20th Avenue, sustaining multiple injuries including five broken ribs, a fractured jaw and a spinal cord fracture.
One of the suspects in this case, 28-year-old Heidi Jewell, had a previous DUI arrest.
"I certainly hope this is not a trend we're going to see continue," Denver Police Sgt. Mike Farr said. "This is quite troubling."
Three lanes were closed on northbound I-25 while the crash investigation continued. The road reopened around 8:45 a.m.
"It's troubling. It's quite troubling," Farr said. "I've been an officer for 27 years and ... there was a time where we could say if we got to 3:30 a.m., we were done with drunks, they made it home. We were able to go get some breakfast and wait for the burglary reports when the sun came up. That's simply not the case anymore."
"The impaired driving is happening around the clock," Farr added.
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