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Utah officer crashes motorcycle during pursuit

By Erin Alberty
The Salt Lake Tribune
Related: Vehicle strikes Fla. motorcycle officer during pursuit

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A Salt Lake City police officer crashed on his patrol motorcycle after driving against traffic in pursuit of a car downtown Tuesday afternoon.

The officer slid out of control while crossing over a median on 300 West near 600 South about 3 p.m., police said.

The officer was checking the speed of passing cars when he set out in pursuit of a Jeep Cherokee, police said.

Witness Chris Baca said the Jeep turned north onto the southbound lanes of 300 West, making a left turn from the right-most lane of 600 South. The officer chased the Jeep against sparse traffic on 300 West, police said. The Jeep crossed over a median to get into the correct lanes of travel, and the officer followed, police said. The officer lost control while crossing the median, police said.

Passers-by assisted the officer at the scene, said witness Brooke Wood, of Stansbury Park. "He tried to move; he was moaning," she said. The officer said he may have broken his leg, she said.

An ambulance took him to LDS Hospital in serious condition, said Lt. Arthur Healey.

After the wreck, the Jeep again drove in the wrong direction, this time on 500 South, police said.

Healey said while the department abides by a policy not to follow traffic violators against freeway traffic, the rule is less clear-cut for enforcement in town.
it's a traffic situation inside the city, there's some leeway," he said. State troopers are investigating the crash.

Police are looking for the Jeep, described as a red or maroon late model. The driver was described as a Caucasian man with dark hair, between 25 and 35 years of age, with facial stubble. 

* Russ Rizzo contributed to this story.

Copyright 2007 The Salt Lake City Tribune

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