Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper Injured During Chase, Utah Man In Custody
Charges are pending against a Utah man whose actions led to a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper being seriously injured after a crash near Evanston on Wednesday during a chase, according to a news release.
About 10:10 p.m., troopers saw Walter Allen Hill, 48, from Fruit Heights, Utah, driving a pickup that ran a stop sign at the bottom of the eastbound off-ramp at Exit 18 of Interstate 80.
Hill drove north on U.S. 189. Troopers saw the pickup's headlights were off, and only an LED light shone from the front of the vehicle.
Troopers attempted to stop Hill near milepost 1 on U.S. 189.
He didn't, and accelerated to more than 100 mph. He turned off the LED light and weaved between the north and southbound lanes.
Lincoln County officers deployed a tire deflation device, Stop Sticks, at milepost 33. Hill avoided the device by turning around then driving south.
Hill drove erratically, braked suddenly, and drove into the oncoming traffic lane.
Troopers successfully deployed Stop Sticks at milepost 26, which deflated some of the pickup's tires. Hill slowed to 55 mph and turned off all the vehicle's lights.
Trooper A.J. Bluemen did not see the pickup slow down, swerved to avoid a collision, ran off the road and lost control of his vehicle, which rolled several times before stopping.
One of the pursuing troopers stopped to help Bluemel, who later was flown to the University of Utah Hospital for treatment.
Another trooper continued pursuing Hill, who drove south. Another trooper again successfully deployed Stop Sticks to deflate more of the pickup's tires.
Hill left the roadway near milepost 16 on U.S. 189 and got out of the pickup. He pointed a handgun at troopers and deputies, and refused to comply with commands to drop his weapon.
Hill ran away and he fired the gun. No one was struck.
Troopers and other law enforcement pursued Hill and found him walking along a ridge to the east of U.S. 189. Hill fired more rounds, and again, no one was hurt.
Hill eventually walked toward law enforcement. At first, he refused to drop his handgun. He removed the magazine and placed the handgun on a fence, but still held onto the magazine.
When Hill picked up the handgun, Sweetwater County Sheriff's officers deployed non-lethal munitions. He was then taken into custody.
Other agencies joining the pursuit included the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the Uinta County Sheriff’s Office, the Evanston Police Department, the Diamondville Police Department, the Kemmerer Police Department, the Cokeville Police Department, and the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation,
The DCI is investigating the incident.