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Colorado deputy let wrong-way driver hit his SUV to save others, sheriff's office says

The deputy placed his own vehicle on the highway between the wrong-way driver and other vehicles and was hit, according to the sheriff's office.

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. β€” Two people were hurt after an Adams County deputy used his vehicle to stop a wrong-way driver on eastbound Interstate 70 on Monday night.

Just after 11 p.m., the Adams County Sherriff's Office (ACSO) received a request from the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) for assistance related to a driver who was headed westbound in the eastbound lanes of the highway near mile marker 328, which is near Deer Trail.

According to CSP, the wrong-way driver, identified as an 83-year-old Colorado Springs man, was driving at highway speeds and troopers were worried about a potential collision.

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ACSO deputies headed to the area and stopped eastbound traffic at mile marker 310 near Strasburg in an effort to avoid a head-on collision. 

There were more than a dozen vehicles stopped in the eastbound lanes as the wrong-way driver approached, ACSO said in a Facebook post.

One deputy placed himself and his vehicle ahead of the stopped vehicles to intercept the incoming vehicle, ACSO said. He allowed himself to be struck so the other vehicles would not be hit, according to the agency.

According to CSP, the 83-year-old man was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee and struck the deputy's SUV. The 83-year-old man and the 26-year-old deputy were both taken to UCHealth, CSP said.

The 83-year-old man had serious injuries. The deputy's injuries were minor.

Thankful Tuesday β€” πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™ Just after 11 PM last night we received a request from Colorado State Patrol for emergent...

Posted by Adams County Sheriff's Office, Colorado on Tuesday, April 12, 2022

The impact pushed both vehicles more than 140 feet and into the front of a stopped semi-truck. That driver, who is from Washington state, was not hurt, according to CSP.

"We are thankful that the only casualties were the vehicles involved," the ACSO Facebook post says. "There is no doubt that without the deputy’s quick action and bravery, several vehicles would have been struck at high speeds and lives would have been lost."

The 83-year-old man was cited for careless driving and driving in the wrong lane. Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be factors in the crash.

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