Utah police officer killed in attempted traffic stop on Interstate 15; suspect arrested

SANTAQUIN, UT - A Utah police officer has died, and a suspect has been arrested following a manhunt on Sunday.

The Spanish Fork Police Department told FOXNews that around 6:00 a.m. Sunday morning, a Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) trooper and a Santaquin police officer responded to a report that someone “was standing on the back of a big rig’s trailer as the truck traveled north on Interstate 15.”

Within about 30 minutes, the semi-truck was located by the responding units and a traffic stop was attempted.

The driver of the semi, 42-year-old Michael Aaron Jayne, continued down the Interstate before turning around and driving the wrong way toward the officer and the trooper. Jayne crashed into both law enforcement vehicles, killing 50-year-old Santaquin police Sgt. Bill Hooser. The UHP trooper was not injured.

Following the crash, Jayne fled stealing several vehicles before being taken into custody in Vernal, Utah, about 165 miles east of the fatal crash according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Jayne has a history of violence towards law enforcement; he was convicted of assault after running an Oregon police officer over in 2009. In 2010, while serving time in the Shasta County Jail, Jayne was charged with criminal threats and assault for threatening an officer. He has also faced charges in Kansas.

Sgt. Hooser served in New Mexico with the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office before joining the Santaquin Police department, where he had served for eight years up until Sunday. Hooser was promoted to sergeant in February, and he leaves behind his wife of 29 years as well as two daughters and a new granddaughter.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox spoke on social media Sunday, saying the incident was “devastating news from our law enforcement community this morning. Please keep this officer’s family in your prayers. Our hearts are broken and we give our unending gratitude to all those who protect and serve.”

“I am so proud of our city, so proud of those that serve the citizens. People throughout the United States have contacted me this morning, and along with the governor, to let us know that they are aware of the situations and they support us 100%,” Santaquin Mayor Daniel Olson said in a press conference on Sunday. He described the day as “a difficult day that has rocked a small, tight-knit community.”

Sgt. Hooser’s brother Michael Hooser spoke during a press conference on Monday saying, “we take comfort in the outpouring of support we have received from agencies and offices all over the state. Although nothing could ever make up the loss we feel, we take solace in knowing Bill died a hero.”

On Monday, members of the community lined the streets to honor the fallen officer as a procession passed carrying Sgt. Hooser to a funeral home.

A public service for Sgt. Hooser is scheduled for Monday May 13 at 10:00 a.m. at the UCCU Events Center at Utah Valley University in Orem, the Daily Herald has confirmed with the Utah County Sherrif’s Office.

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