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Alex Cabrero reporting An Iron County sheriff's deputy is the latest victim in a series of crashes on Interstate 15 in Southern Utah. The trucker who hit him is in jail.
It has been a dangerous few days on Interstate 15 near Parowan in Iron County. The deputy hit Thursday was doing traffic control on another fatal accident, which came on the heels of yet another fatal crash Wednesday.
Deputy Rick Dickinson of the Iron County Sheriff's Office is alert, and he's doing OK. We're told his arm, however, is in very bad shape. The driver who is responsible for all this at first tried to get away.
As troopers and deputies worked one fatal accident they almost had another one. "This could have been prevented if the driver would have paid attention to what he was doing," explained Jeff Bigler, of the Utah Highway Patrol.
That driver, who police say wasn't paying attention, is a trucker from Illinois. At about 4:00 Thursday afternoon he came upon an accident scene northbound on I-15 in Parowan, but for some reason he didn't slow down.
"He hit the deputy's pickup truck, which in turn hit the deputy and knocked him to the ground," Bigler said.
Troopers working the first accident were shocked to see that happen but were more shocked to see what happened next. "He drove clear over into the southbound lanes, went northbound in the southbound lane for a short distance, crossed the median again back into the northbound lane and continued; never stopped," Bigler said.
Troopers eventually caught up to the truck and made the driver stop. Turns out he was tired and was way over his driving hours in his log book. He was taken to jail, while the deputy he hit was taken to the hospital.
"I heard his arm was broken and laid open pretty much to the bone," Bigler explained.
"The people on the roads that are traveling are not always being 100 percent safe," tow truck driver James Miller said.
Miller worked both accidents Thursday. "There are a lot of accidents, a lot of fatalities," he said.
He also worked Wednesday's crash, the one in which a teenage girl died, but everyone else in the van ran away. Police believe they're either wanted or illegal.
"Our intelligence is pretty good that they've completely left the area. We were not even done investigating that one when we had this happen today," Bigler said.
The name of the person who died in the original accident has not been released just yet, but the plates on the car are from Oregon.