Close call for DPS officer on I-40

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

LONETREE, Ariz. -- A DPS officer calls a near miss with a semi-truck on Nov. 6 "dodging a bullet."

Officer Jason Chacon had just finished removing a dead deer from Interstate 40 near Lonetree, when the truck barreled within inches of the passenger side of his patrol car, rolled over in a cloud of dust, and came to rest on its side. 

Chacon and a backup officer, both of whom had their emergency lights on, broke out the sunroof of the truck, and pulled both people inside to safety.  Fortunately, the people inside the truck and the officers are okay. 

"After it's all said and done, it's like 'whew, I missed that bullet that day,'" said Officer Chacon.

DPS is investigating whether the driver wasn't paying attention, or fell asleep.  The preliminary test shows that he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and will only face traffic citations.

"It looked worse on the video. The concept of time and perception, it's kind of you try to see what's going on around you.  We came back and reviewed the video of the in-car camera, and it was like 'wow, that was really close.'  But after everything, it's just part of what we do on a daily basis," said Officer Chacon.