Garfield County Sheriff’s vehicle struck early Friday by passing vehicle on highway

Photo courtesy of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

A Garfield County Sheriff’s deputy was nearly struck by a motorist early Friday morning, a news release states.

The deputy was responding to an injured deer on Colorado Highway 82 when an oncoming vehicle struck the deputy’s car, according to a news release from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident happened at approximately 4:20 a.m. Friday near mile marker four on Highway 82.

When the deputy noticed an oncoming vehicle headed directly at him, he was able to dive into his vehicle and avoid injury, the press release states.

“The vehicle continued eastbound on Highway 82 after striking the open door of the patrol vehicle,” the release states.

The driver, whose vehicle’s mirror had broken off during the encounter, subsequently pulled over.

“Neither the driver nor the deputy were injured in the incident, damage to the patrol car was minimal,” the release states. “The driver was driving her vehicle without a valid driver’s license and had no vehicle registration or proof of insurance.”

Garfield County Sheriff’s Office Communication Officer Walt Stowe said he has not received a final report.

“I believe a citation will be issued but no arrest is contemplated at this time,” Stowe said in an email.

“Drivers need to remain attentive and vigilant at all times to keep everyone safe,” the release states.

“Had the deputy not been aware of his surroundings and alert to the oncoming traffic, the results would have been much different. His lights were on during the encounter.”

State law requires drivers to move over for a stationary emergency vehicle, tow vehicle, or public utility vehicle working at, near, or in the roadway with its lights flashing.

If a driver is unable to move at least one lane away from the stationary vehicle, they must slow down to at least 25 miles per hour on roadways with a speed limit below 45 miles per hour.

On roadways with speed limits 45 miles per hour or more, motorists must slow down to 20 miles per hour less than the speed limit. Failure to do so is a class two misdemeanor traffic offense punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $300.