State Trooper Injured In Crash Near Puyallup April 13, 2006 By KOMO Staff & News Services PUYALLUP - A motorcycle trooper was injured Thursday when he was struck by a truck on westbound State Route 512 near this Pierce County city. Trooper Dan Hefton, 41, a 13-year State Patrol veteran, was treated at a local hospital and released. He was "pretty banged up," though not as seriously injured as was thought initially, and will be taking some time off to recover, Trooper J.J. Gundermann said. The accident occurred after Hefton had stopped Jessica K. Sattler, 28, of Puyallup, for speeding, Gundermann said. As the trooper stood at her passenger-side door, the driver of a 10-ton van full of furniture lost control of his vehicle, striking Hefton's motorcycle, Sattler's car and injuring Hefton, according to a State Patrol news release. The trooper was taken to Tacoma General Hospital for treatment of his injuries, which Gundermann declined to describe, citing privacy laws. Sattler and a 4-year-old girl in her Kia Sedona suffered minor injuries and were treated at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup and released. "He's been with the patrol for 13 years, he's a good trooper and a safe trooper, he's a friend of mine," said Gundermann. "I know he had no time to react." Investigators believe that John Drew Ledford, 25, of Mineral, had been driving the box van and that Sarah Anne Jackson, 44, of Tacoma, was a passenger in the front seat, the release said. Before the van reached Hefton, it passed another trooper on a motorcycle, who was pulling into traffic. It appeared that Ledford - who has a suspended driver's license - tried to switch places with Jackson in case they were pulled over, and lost control of the van, the release said. Troopers found marijuana and paraphernalia in the van but do not believe Ledford was impaired. He was arrested and booked into the Pierce County Jail for investigation of reckless driving, possession of marijuana/paraphernalia, driving with a suspended license - and on an outstanding warrant, the nature of which was not disclosed. "It's dangerous," Gundermann said of the trooper's job. "It is hard making a living on the side of the road."