Motorcycle trooper tossed down embankment during training

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 2 2012 3:10 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — A veteran Utah Highway Patrol trooper was tossed from his motorcycle and injured during a training exercise Tuesday.

Just before 11 a.m., between 18 and 20 troopers on motorcycles were driving up East Canyon in single file formation, when they reached a turn notorious for motorcycle and bicycle accidents, said UHP Capt. Mark Zesiger.

The trooper, whose name was not released Tuesday afternoon, apparently took the turn too fast, was thrown off his bike and rolled 40 to 50 feet down the embankment.

"At this point it looks like an error on our part," Zesiger said.

Thanks to new protective gear that all troopers are now wearing — including a full-faced mask, a padded jacket and padded pants — the trooper suffered a minor knee injury, he said. Rescue crews, as a precaution, used a backboard and basket to extricate the trooper back onto state Route 65 before he was taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

The trooper involved in the accident has 10 to 12 years of experience. Zesiger said the incident serves as a good reminder for all of the public.

"He is an experienced rider, and this can happen to just about anybody," he said.

Zesiger stressed riders should always be prepared on the road.

"This could have been an extremely bad crash if he had not had the proper equipment," the captain said.

Pat Reavy

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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