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May 16, 2024

Suspect in custody: Santaquin officer struck, killed by semi-truck on Interstate 15

A Santaquin police officer was struck and killed by semi-truck on Sunday morning. The incident occurred sometime before 8 a.m. on I-15 near milepost 244 in Santaquin. At 8:30 a.m., Utah Highway Patrol Cpl.

Wright said both directions on the interstate would be closed for some time in the area of the crash. The officer was declared dead at the scene after being struck, while Jayne fled the area on foot.

Around 6 a.m., Utah Highway Patrol received a call reporting someone standing on the back of a semitrailer travelling north. A Santaquin police officer and UHP trooper located the truck 30 minutes later and performed a traffic stop on I-15 near mile marker 244. The driver of the semi, later identified as 42-year-old Michael Aaron Jayne, reportedly fled after striking the officer. Jayne had been seen driving a white Ford F-150 truck with Utah plate number 2D7TR.

A shelter-in-place was issued for Mona, Payson, and Santaquin while authorities searched for him. Gov. Spencer Cox released a public statement regarding the situation, writing, “We’re praying for this officer’s loved ones and everyone affected by this tragedy.” A manhunt ensued and lasted for several hours after authorities alerted the public, noting they believed Jayne was possibly armed and dangerous.

The name of the officer has not yet been released. A “Blue Alert” was issued for Jayne, who police say stole a Ford F-150 somewhere in Sanpete County, and possibly other vehicles. “Blue Alerts” are issued whenever a law enforcement officer is injured or killed.

Jayne was later located near Vernal, and police engaged in a short pursuit before he crashed the stolen pickup. He was then taken into custody.

Utah Highway Patrol closed both the northbound and southbound lanes of I-15 as officers investigated the crash. It has since been opened in both directions. “Our entire department is hurt, and the family of the officer is hurt,” Santaquin Police Lt.

Mike Wall said through tears at a press conference. “Because of a senseless act by one individual, we have family members who will miss their father at their nearing wedding. But I can assure you that we as a police department will stand up and will be there, and we are one family.”

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