SALT LAKE CITY — A semitruck driver was charged Tuesday with injuring a Utah Highway Patrol trooper after refusing to obey a road closure.
Barry Loveall, 61, of Orem, is charged in 3rd District Court with assault against a police officer, a second-degree felony; failing to respond to an officer’s signal to stop, a third-degree felony; failing to stop for an injury accident, a class A misdemeanor; and restricted uses of a closed highway, a class B misdemeanor.
About 7:20 a.m. on Sept. 15, UHP troopers responded to a fuel spill at the top of the 1300 South off-ramp on I-215 on the west belt loop. A trooper used his patrol vehicle and cones to block the ramp and had this emergency lights on, according to charging documents. An incident management truck was also parked at the top of the ramp with its emergency lights activated.
Loveall, who was driving a semitrailer, “went around the orange cones to turn left to go toward the I-215 southbound on-ramp and was passing the incident management truck” when a trooper hopped on the semitruck’s running board to tell him to pull over, according to the charges.
“Loveall stated that he would not stop” and began driving away again, the charges state.
The truck gained speed as Loveall continued onto the ramp.
“Fearing for his life, (the trooper) jumped from the moving vehicle,” according to charging documents.
The trooper rolled several times after hitting the ground and was treated for minor injuries to his hip, lower back and spine, the charges state.
An incident management driver spotted the semi and followed it, giving updates to police. The semi was located by troopers in a convenience store parking lot near 300 West and 3300 South where two troopers called Loveall out of the cab at gunpoint, according to a police affidavit.
When interviewed by investigators, Loveall said he ignored the trooper and the road closure “because he thought the trooper was a construction worker,” according to the affidavit.