DENVER (CBS4) - A Colorado State Patrol trooper, who was hit early Tuesday morning during a traffic stop on Interstate 25, was released from the hospital a few hours later with moderate injuries.
Police say Trooper Clinton Stanton was hit from behind while he was writing a ticket for another driver in the shoulder just before the exit at 58th. Stanton is a 12-year veteran of the department.
"It's troubling, it's quite troubling," said Denver Police Sgt. Mike Farr. "Here we are in less than a week, talking about another DUI-involved crash."
The driver responsible for the crash has been identified as Jose Ramirez. Investigators say he drove away from the scene and then eventually hopped out of his car and ran away. Police found him a short time later.
Adams County deputies took Ramirez, 21, into custody and say they are looking into whether alcohol influenced that driver. He faces several charges including suspicion of DUI, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to yield.
Julie Bussey told CBS4 she witnessed the crash.
"The car that was coming just hit the cop straight on. It was just 'Bam.' Threw his wheel off, took off down the road as far as he could," Bussey said.
Stanton was taken to the hospital. He was released before noon on Tuesday to recover at home from moderate injuries.
Big backups on the interstate resulted from closed lanes at the crash scene. It took nearly 3 and a half hours for road crews to completely clear the highway. At 8:30 a.m. all lanes of the highway were open.
It was just last Friday when another law enforcement officer was struck by a suspected drunk driver while he had pulled over another suspected DUI driver on I-25.
Authorities want to remind drivers to be vigilant especially as the Labor Day weekend approaches.
"The impaired driving is happening around the clock," said Farr. "I certainly hope this is not a trend we see continue."
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