WEST JORDAN — A man who tried to escape from police by jumping out of a police car while handcuffed was critically injured early Tuesday after he was struck by a vehicle while fleeing across a highway.

The 21-year-old West Jordan man, whose name was not immediately released, was initially pulled over between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Monday on I-15 near 4500 South, said Utah Highway Patrol trooper Cameron Roden. As the trooper who stopped the man approached the Porsche the man was driving, the man sped away.

"He did not pursue," Roden said of the trooper. "He had his license plate number."

Investigators went to the residence of the registered car owner and spotted the vehicle. As they approached the door, the man ran out the back. Officers were waiting, however, and took him into custody. Alcohol was believed to have been a factor, Roden said.

About 1 a.m., as the man was being transported to jail, he was placed in the front passenger seat of the trooper's patrol car. Roden said he believes the man was handcuffed with his hands behind him, and a seat belt was placed on him, as is customary with all arrests.

On the Bangerter Highway near 7600 South, however, the man attempted to get out of the car.

The trooper started to slow down and pull over to the shoulder but the man jumped out, said Roden, who was not sure Tuesday if the trooper had come to a stop yet before the man got out.

The man ran across the northbound lanes of traffic, hopped the center barrier, and was running across the southbound lanes when he was hit. He was flown by medical helicopter to University Hospital in critical condition.

KSL TV reported the man had been released from jail within the 48 hours prior to his latest arrest.

— Pat Reavy