El Paso County Sheriff's Office Deputy Narrowly Evades Being Injured by Impaired Driver

May 3, 2024 - 8:00am

On Monday, April 29th, an El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputy was conducting a traffic stop with a semi-truck near Hwy. 24 and Garrett Rd. After concluding the traffic stop, Deputy Joshua Offutt noticed a white Ford pickup truck, weaving into the lane towards him.

To prevent being struck, Deputy Offutt had to quickly evade the oncoming pickup truck, pinning himself against the stopped semi-truck.

While Deputy Offutt was not injured, the pick-up truck struck Deputy Offutt’s patrol vehicle, causing moderate damage. The proper positioning of Deputy Offutt’s patrol vehicle likely prevented him from being struck and seriously injured, or worse.

Deputy Offutt successfully re-engaged with the vehicle and brought it to a stop a short distance away. Upon approaching the pickup truck driver, Deputy Offutt observed signs indicating the driver of the truck was potentially under the influence of either alcohol or another unknown substance.

Colorado State Patrol was dispatched to the crash scene. Upon arrival, Colorado State Patrol determined the driver of the pickup truck was indeed impaired.

As the Sheriff of El Paso County, I have held true to my commitment to increasing our traffic enforcement efforts, my goal is to reduce distracted drivers and the number of unnecessary deaths and injuries we see on our roads,” said Sheriff Joseph Roybal. “My deputies are present across our community, and actively looking for those who are driving recklessly, impaired, and dangerously. I ask members of our community to slow down, pay attention, and be mindful of the safety of my deputies and all members of our community.  I am grateful for Deputy Offutt’s safety, the fact he walked away unharmed is a miracle. Thank you to our partners at Colorado State Patrol for quickly responding to the incident and assisting Deputy Offutt.”

As a reminder in 2020, Governor Polis signed into law House Bill 20-1145, legislation titled, “Move Over or Slow Down for Official Vehicle”.

This statute makes it a presumption the following speeds are safe unless the conditions require a lower speed:

  • 25 miles per hour if the speed limit is less than 45 miles per hour; or
  • At least 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit if the speed limit is 45 miles per hour or more.

Preexisting law requires a driver who is overtaking an emergency vehicle, tow vehicle, or public utility vehicle that is parked on the side of the road to reduce and maintain a safe speed.

The act also requires the Colorado State Patrol and the Department of Transportation to create a campaign raising public awareness of the requirement to move over or slow down and of the dangers to stationary emergency and service vehicles.

View body-worn camera and patrol vehicle footage of the incident, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfug4xNLq4c

MR 24-026

Office of the Sheriff

27 East Vermijo Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
United States

719-520-7100 / 719-390-5555 (after hours)

El Paso County Jail

2739 East Las Vegas Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
United States