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Trooper's motorcycle, tow truck hit by suspected drunk driver

The motorcycle was thrown across all lanes of traffic into the center median, where it caught fire and was destroyed, according to CSP.

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — A Colorado State Patrol (CSP) motorcycle trooper and a tow truck operator suffered minor injuries after a suspected drunk driver crashed into both their vehicles which were parked on the side of Interstate 25 due to a prior crash.

“Today, we were extremely lucky this situation was not worse,” said Colonel Matthew Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We have not always been this lucky. This is a dramatic reminder of the dangers of both not moving over, and driving under the influence.”

Trooper Dean McClain and a tow truck driver responded to a single-vehicle crash in the southbound lanes of the highway near mile marker 157 around 11:30 Tuesday night. That's just north of the Air Force Academy.

RELATED: Investigation into crash that killed 5 could take weeks or months, CSP says

McClain's vehicle was parked on the right shoulder with its emergency lights activated, CSP said. Directly in front of his motorcycle was a 2017 Freightliner tow truck, with its amber lights activated, loading the vehicle from the first crash.

Around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, the driver of a 1998 Ford pickup traveled from the left lane, across the middle and right lanes, and onto the shoulder, where he collided with both the motorcycle and the tow truck.

The motorcycle was thrown across all lanes of traffic into the center median, where it caught fire and was destroyed, according to CSP.

Credit: CSP
A CSP motorcycle was damaged in a crash on Interstate 25 in El Paso County early Wednesday morning.

At the time of the impact, McClain was standing on the west side of the guardrail. The tow operator, a 31-year-old Colorado Springs man, was standing between the tow truck and the guardrail.

Debris from the crash struck both McClain and the tow operator, causing minor injuries, CSP said. Neither was taken to the hospital.

RELATED: Man accused of stealing patrol car, responding to call before high-speed chase

Bernard Ewertz, 55, of Greeley, was driving the pickup truck, CSP said. He sustained moderate injuries in the crash. His passenger, a 31-year-old Greeley woman, was seriously hurt.

Ewertz was later arrested for driving under the influence, according to CSP.

Credit: CSP
A photo showing a damaged tow truck that was struck by a vehicle on the side of Interstate 25 in El Paso County

Two lanes of I-25 were closed for about four hours while the on-scene investigation took place.

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