NEW HARMONY, Utah — Two deputies with the Washington County Sheriff's Office were injured but are expected to recover after their vehicle was hit by a semi-truck early Saturday morning.
The deputies were assisting Utah Highway Patrol troopers with a previous accident on northbound I-15 in New Harmony. Shortly after 5 a.m., a semi hit them from behind while they were sitting in their pickup truck in the closed-off right lane and waiting for a tow truck to arrive.
Both deputies were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, UHP said.
All three northbound lanes of the freeway were closed temporarily after the semi crash. Traffic was diverted past the scene on the left shoulder.
UHP is investigating distracted or drowsy driving as the possible cause of the accident.
The initial crash occurred around 3 a.m. A southbound car went off the left side of the road, crashed through the cable barrier, then went into the northbound lanes where it was hit by a semi.
Firefighters and paramedics said they could smell a "strong odor of an alcoholic beverage" coming from the driver of the car. UHP troopers conducted field sobriety tests, then arrested the man. He was identified as 43-year-old Aric Ham. He was taken to a local hospital and cleared, then booked in the Washington County Jail on one count of driving under the influence. He was released with conditions.
Photos from the scene appear to show that the car from the initial crash was later hit by the semi that hit the police vehicle.