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DRIVER LEAPS FROM MOVING VAN TO ESCAPE ARMED PASSENGER

A delivery van driver suffered minor injuries Thursday evening when he leaped from his moving vehicle to avoid a gun-wielding robber, the North Salt Lake Police reported.

Sgt. Paul Arnold said a United Parcel Service (UPS) driver was picking up packages in North Salt Lake's industrial area about 5 p.m. when he saw a man jogging toward him. The man pulled a gun, ordered him into the truck, and then ordered him to drive west after demanding money, Arnold said.The unidentified driver knew the area west of Redwood Road is little more than open fields and feared he would be killed, Arnold said. After giving the robber some checks he'd collected from customers - but no cash - the driver unbuckled his seat belt, hit the brakes on the truck and leaped out, Arnold said, estimating the truck was moving about 30 mph at the time.

The truck, with the robber still in it, continued down the road and then careened into a ravine, coming to rest at a steep angle, Arnold said. The robber climbed out, ran to a waiting car driven by a second man, and sped away, eastbound, the detective reported.

The UPS driver was treated for minor injuries but not hospitalized, Arnold said, although he described the victim as "pretty stiff and sore today."

The robber is described as between 5 feet and 6 inches tall and 5 feet and 8 inches tall, with medium-length brown hair. He was wearing a maroon rain jacket and dark slacks, Arnold said. The robber pulled a leather-type piece of material up over the lower portion of his face and nose, Arnold said, so the victim could not provide an accurate description of his face.

The robber jumped into a small, compact-size silver car driven by a second man when he fled. Arnold said he doesn't know if the assailant was injured in the crash of the UPS truck or not.

People who may have witnessed part of the incident are asked to call Arnold at the North Salt Lake Police Department at 298-3880.