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Asleep at the wheel, man hits Utah police chief head-on

Published April 27, 2013 3:43 pm

Accident • Both driver and the police chief suffer only minor injuries.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The police chief of a Carbon County town was monitoring traffic when a man drove head-on into his car.

Wellington Police Chief Lee Barry had parked his marked patrol car on a westbound shoulder near 240 W. Main Street on Friday.

About 3 p.m., 37-year-old James Skeem of East Carbon was driving his PT Cruiser eastbound on Main Street when he fell asleep at the wheel, according to the Utah Highway Patrol, which investigated the crash since it involved a police officer. The PT Cruiser went left through a center turn lane and two westbound lanes before driving over a curb and running into Barry's patrol car head-on.

Both Skeem and Barry were wearing seat belts and only suffered minor injuries. They were treated at the scene and did not have to go to the hospital.

Investigators do not believe Skeem was impaired, but he was cited for lane travel violations, according to UHP.

mmcfall@sltrib.comTwitter: @mikeypanda