DENVER (CBS4) – A driver who struck and badly injured a Denver officer early Friday morning and causing a chain reaction crash is suspected of driving under the influence.
While the officer was in the midst of making a DUI arrest at 4 a.m. on Interstate 25 at 38th he was suddenly hit by a different driver who police suspect was traveling “at a high rate of speed.”READ MORE: Semi Trailers On Fire At Colorado Springs Goodwill
“We don’t always get to pick where folks pull over. It’s our preference that you pull over to the right,” said Denver Police Traffic Investigations Sgt. Mike Farr.
Police said the officer is not being identified. He was taken to the hospital and reportedly has broken bones.
Four cars were damaged in the crash, which shut down the northbound lanes of Interstate 25 for more than two hours with traffic backups for miles.
The original DUI traffic stop was in the far left breakdown lane of I-25 along 38th Ave. After the officer took that driver into custody, another passing driver, identified as Heidi Jewell, slammed into the back of the officer’s cruiser, pushing it into the original violator’s vehicle.
After that, the driver of a pickup, who was on his way to work, slammed into Jewell’s vehicle.
Investigators believe Jewell, 28, was likely under the influence when she slammed into the officer.
“It’s disappointing to have a DUI driver strike a police car while you’re trying to take an unsafe driver off the road but given it was 4 o’clock in the morning I’m not so shocked,” said Farr.MORE NEWS: Colorado Weather: Fire Danger Ahead Of Next Storm System
Colorado has a “move over” law which means when drivers see an emergency vehicle, you’re required to move over at least one lane. If that’s not possible, drivers must slow down.