Man shot after crashing into vehicles on I-70 near Empire exit

CLEAR CREEK, Colo. - Westbound I-70 reopened just after 10 p.m. Friday, 6 hours after a chase and deputy-involved shooting.

The Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office said it was involved in a chase of a possible DUI driver at about 3:46 p.m.. At about mile marker 229, the deputy chasing the suspect's vehicle pulled up along side as traffic ahead was slowing down. 

The sheriff's office said the man rear-ended the car in front of him and continued to hit other cars that were trying to get out of the way. That's when the officer opened fire on the suspect, wounding him.

The shooting victim was taken to St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood. His condition has not been released.

An eyewitness, Michael Tomasello, of Denver, told 7NEWS, "The guy in the truck was driving up the middle as people were getting out of the way. (I) just made it through before they shut the road. As we drove by the scene,  he was on the ground behind his pickup. He flew past me and hit one car. He lost the grill off his truck, then kept going and ran into the back of a Grand Cherokee. He appeared to be OK. I never heard a shot fired."

The deputy involved in the shooting has been placed on paid administrative leave. 

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is heading up the investigation into the shooting.

The Colorado Department of Transportation said the highway was closed to allow law enforcement to safely conduct an investigation. 

The westbound lanes reopened at 10:03 p.m.CDOT traffic cameras showed WB traffic stacked up near Empire for hours on Friday evening.

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