Truck driver who allegedly drove wrong way down Utah highway to strike cop, who later died, has history of attacking cops

A man once described as “armed and dangerous” and “willing to enter into high-speed chases and cause accidents” has now been accused of deliberately driving into police and their vehicles in Utah, killing one officer.

Just before 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sgt. Bill Hooser of the Santaquin Police Department and a member of the Utah Highway Patrol conducted a traffic stop on a semi-truck along northbound I-15 in Santaquin, Utah, about 20 miles south of Provo. Reports indicated that a person had been seen standing on the back of the truck while it was in motion.

“Our entire department is hurt, and the family of the officer is hurt.”

During the traffic stop, the truck driver suddenly drove forward on I-15, then turned the vehicle around so that it was facing traffic and hit the gas, heading straight for the officers and the police cruisers parked alongside the highway.

The truck struck both vehicles and Sgt. Hooser. Hooser — a husband and father who reportedly just welcomed his first grandchild — was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Our entire department is hurt, and the family of the officer is hurt,” said Santaquin Police Lt. Mike Wall. “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.”

The semi-truck driver, believed to be 41-year-old Michael Aaron Jayne, allegedly fled the scene on foot and stole several vehicles in an attempt to escape. The escape failed, however, and Jayne was ultimately arrested following a “a high-speed pursuit near Vernal,” KATV reported.

Jayne is no stranger to members of law enforcement. In fact, he has a history of violently attacking them throughout the country. He had even been charged with multiple counts of attempted aggravated murder after he tried to crash a truck into two police vehicles in Oregon in March 2009.

Jayne was ultimately convicted of attempted assault in the first degree and possessing body armor as a felon in connection with that incident. A year later, he was assessed 17 more charges after he allegedly attacked a corrections officer and threatened several others while serving time in California.

When Jayne was released in connection with the attempted assault on the Oregon troopers is unclear, but while on parole in July 2012, he allegedly fled from a traffic stop in a stolen truck in Barton County, Kansas. It appears that Jayne successfully managed to avoid capture in that case, though a few months later, he was arrested in Texas for possessing a weapon as a felon.

He was sentenced to 10 years and was released in 2021.

It is unclear what charges Jayne currently faces in Utah.

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