Inmate airlifted after jumping from moving truck

Laricko Johnson (Source: Lee County Sheriff's Office)
Laricko Johnson (Source: Lee County Sheriff's Office)

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - A Lee County inmate is recovering from a severe broken leg and other serious injuries after investigators say he deliberately jumped out of a moving work truck along Highway 280.

The inmate, 35-year-old Laricko Johnson, is a non-violent offender. He was out on a work detail heading to do sanitation duties at the trash compacter in the Motts community along Highway 280 when detectives say he opened the door and jumped.

News Leader 9's Elizabeth White was the first on the scene Thursday morning.

Now, investigators are trying to find out why he jumped.

"Indications are his injuries were sustained when he jumped out of the moving vehicle along highway 280, but there is a possibility the rear wheels of the truck ran over him but we are still looking into that," said Sheriff Jay Jones with the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Jones isn't sure how fast the county recycling truck was moving, but the speed limit along this stretch of 280 is 65 miles an hour.

Johnson suffered extensive injuries to the lower part of his body, including a broken leg. He was flown to a Medical Center in Columbus by a helicopter ambulance.

He is in stable condition after having surgery. Johnson was riding in the truck with another inmate and a supervisor who was driving.

Investigators won't comment on if he said anything to the people inside the truck before he jumped.

Opelika police and Lee County are both investigating the incident.

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