Trucker gives up truck after SWAT team called in

| 6/21/2005

A ruckus in Orem, UT, has C.R. England Inc. officials wondering what provoked independent contractor Bruce Wilson, 53, of Beaumont, CA, to barricade himself in his truck last Tuesday night. Wilson’s truck had run out of fuel and when a tow truck was dispatched, Wilson wouldn’t get out.

A three-hour standoff ended with Wilson surrendering to police. Gordon Lambert, vice president of C.R. England Inc., said the company had not talked to Wilson since the incident.

“I want to talk to him and see what in the world happened,” said Lambert. “He had been easy to work with and doing well.”

Lambert was frustrated with the varied reports of local news and stories of the driver being high on meth.

“There were no reports of drugs being found, or the trucker using,” said Lambert. “He was charged with a misdemeanor. You’d think if he’d been high on drugs it would have been more than that.”

Utah Department of Safety Lt. Ken Peay said Wilson was charged with one Class A misdemeanor for unlawful control of a vehicle plus two lesser misdemeanors, interfering with lawful arrest and littering.

“He dumped the contents of the cab on the ground before he surrendered,” explained Peay.

Peay said Wilson was still in the Utah County jail in Spanish Fork.

“I don’t know why,” said Peay, “I guess nobody wants to bail him out.”

Wilson was an independent contractor, after having signed on with C.R. England’s lease purchase program a couple of months ago. Lambert said this was the second time Wilson had been on England’s payroll, the first time he was a company driver.

Lambert said the news reports that Wilson had been fired on the day of the standoff were false and the truth was he was bailing out of his lease purchase arrangement.

“He had notified us he was quitting and was heading back to Salt Lake to return the truck,” said Lambert. “Because he was terminating the deal, we cut off his fuel privileges.”

The truck ran out of fuel on an Interstate 15 ramp in Orem. A tow truck driver was dispatched. Wilson was in the truck and refused to come out. According to KSL-TV Eye Witness News, the tow truck driver reported he called police because Wilson was acting strangely. Reportedly he told the tower he was going to a better place and asked if he wanted to come along. 

Police threw in a cell phone, but Wilson threw it back. The interstate ramp at 1600 North was closed for about three hours, but Lt. Peay said I-15 traffic was not affected. Peay said the enforcement team “took its time” and let the situation play out. Wilson peacefully surrendered to SWAT officers.

“We’re just glad no one got hurt,” said Peay.

That is, except the officer who got bit. Police had brought in a dog to subdue the trucker, but the dog attacked one of the SWAT team members instead. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the officer’s injuries were minor.

By Sandi Soendker, managing editor