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Arkansas Trooper’s 109-MPH PIT Maneuver Goes Very Wrong in Deadly Crash


Sedalia Dave

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Driver kept swerving into oncoming traffic... trooper did as ordered; driver perished, but did not take anyone else with him.

 

Almost daily I drive past two artificial flower memorials on opposite sides of two-lane  Avenue 12 in Madera County.  Certainly not as with the above incident, but a 17-year old driver, possibly distracted with texting, swerved into the oncoming lane and struck an SUV head-on with a combined speed of over 120 mph.  The teenaged driver was alone; the SUV carried a family heading home from a day at an amusement park.  The teenaged driver died, as did a child in the SUV; the others in his family were all seriously injured.  I happened upon the scene just as the Life Flight helicopter was lifting off.

 

If the trooper had not taken the pickup out, would that driver had done the same?  Or, should he have backed off  (which seems to be SOP in california) in the hopes that the pickup driver would have slowed down and driven more safely?  And would he have?  Or would he have continued to drive reckessly fast and erratically and killed a bunch of people?  

 

In this state I have no doubt that the agency and the trooper himself would have been sued into oblivion.  :mellow:

 

 

 

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No sympathy whatsoever for driver of the truck. Happy the Officer was okay.

Maybe someday these idiots will realize that stop means stop or you may die. They're decision. :ph34r:

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It's a shame that the officer got injured while taking out the idiot driver.

 

I saw a story today about a highway patrolman that quit the force after using the PIT maneuver while at interstate speeds on the wrong car. Seems he was after a white sedan, finally caught up with a white sedan (the wrong car) and spun him out causing the sedan driver to crash. Story and video below.

 

https://www.foxnews.com/us/arkansas-trooper-retires-pulling-dramatic-pit-maneuver-wrong-car

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I find myself questioning the need for so many high speed chases, considering use of radios and air support.  Especially in a situation like this. Traffic stop, guy takes off.  Would he have continued at 100+mph very far if the cop hadn't given chase?  Would he have slowed and tried to blend in after, say half a mile?  I get that taking off like that implies that the driver who is trying to run from the LEO maybe has warrants, is a felon, or has just committed some serious crime, and I'm not talking about pursuit of a vehicle which was fleeing the scene of a shooting or armed robbery. 

 

It just seems to me that radio and air could be used to coordinate some sort of trap ahead of the guy running away.  

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/investigations/pit-maneuver-police-deaths/

 

I had to look it up because I had never heard of a PIT.

 

Possibly the author of this article had an agenda. Because he sure makes it sound like an awful deadly thing cops are doing.

 

The video Dave posted. It's in that article. A retarded guy who just like to drive around the neighborhood. His mother is a little upset. Said if the cop had just backed off, he would have come home. Then the cops could have come to the house and give him his speeding ticket.

 

It mentions that the LAPD uses this maneuver. It also says they never use it on anybody going faster than 30, because of the danger involved.

 

It tells about doing a PIT and knocking the car over into a lady's front yard and killing her as she was standing in her yard.

 

It tells about a guy that ran into a man's house, snatched him as a hostage and stole his SUV and took off. And the cops did a PIT. Put the SUV into a concrete electric Pole. Split it in half and then it caught fire. The cops rescued the driver, and this oneTHAT'S WHEN they found out that the old man was a hostage in the backseat. He died.

 

Dodge Caravan blows past the cop. He lights them up and they pull over. He gets out of the car and they take off. He goes after them and does a PIT. 15 year old boy driving. His 16 year old sister, her 15 year old boyfriend, and another 15 year old kid. They had taken the car without Mom and Daddy's permission. That's undoubtedly why they were running from the cops - they knew what would happen if the cops turned them into mama and daddy. The driver survived. The other three kids died.

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38 minutes ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

I find myself questioning the need for so many high speed chases, considering use of radios and air support.  Especially in a situation like this. Traffic stop, guy takes off.  Would he have continued at 100+mph very far if the cop hadn't given chase?  Would he have slowed and tried to blend in after, say half a mile?  I get that taking off like that implies that the driver who is trying to run from the LEO maybe has warrants, is a felon, or has just committed some serious crime, and I'm not talking about pursuit of a vehicle which was fleeing the scene of a shooting or armed robbery. 

 

It just seems to me that radio and air could be used to coordinate some sort of trap ahead of the guy running away.  

You have a theory and plenty of time to think it through.

The trooper  had a situation and things were happening fast.

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Just now, Duffield, SASS #23454 said:

You have a theory and plenty of time to think it through.

The trooper  had a situation and things were happening fast.

 

True.  But that's why policies are developed.  

"Was the person in the car firing shots from the car?"
No.....get on the radio and let everyone know description, location, direction, don't pursue at a dangerous speed.
Yes...Go like hell!

"Was the person driving the car already driving at a high speed or in a grossly unsafe manner?
No.....get on the radio and let everyone know description, location, direction, don't pursue at a dangerous speed.
Yes...Go like hell!

 

"Were you attempting to pull the driver over for a minor traffic violation?"
Yes...get on the radio and let everyone know the description, location, direction, don't pursue at a dangerous speed.

 

Extremely over simplified, but I think you get my drift .  Professionals should be able to come up with procedures that will cover 95% of situations.

While it's not common for a high speed chance to end in the death of anyone, it's not uncommon for them to result in tens, or scores, of totaled vehicles, often causing many injuries.  

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The problem is, the officer doesn't have all the information at the time.  Is the person running because they don't want a speeding ticket or did they just commit an armed robbery and shot someone?  To chase or not to chase.  Sometimes, you just can't win, no matter what you choose to do.  I have seen bad outcomes from both decisions.  

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1 hour ago, Duffield, SASS #23454 said:

You are Monday Morning Quarterbacking.

 

 

31 minutes ago, Badlands Bob #61228 said:

The problem is, the officer doesn't have all the information at the time.  Is the person running because they don't want a speeding ticket or did they just commit an armed robbery and shot someone?  To chase or not to chase.  Sometimes, you just can't win, no matter what you choose to do.  I have seen bad outcomes from both decisions.  

 

I'm asking about generalities, not this specific incident.

 

Of course the office doesn't have all the information.  That's kinda my point, which I sort of addressed in my first response.  Is a100+mph chase of a guy who doesn't want his license suspended worth it?  How many of these people would continue to run at high speed for tens of miles if the officer backed off after getting a good description and got on the radio and coordination was used to lay a trap for the driver?   

 

As I posted in my second reply, and as Alpo posted, develop procedures and processes to try to cut down on the chases.  

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I had one die in front of me many years ago.  Called in report of reckless driving.  Clocked him at over 100.  When the crash (single vehicle) was over, we found he was a wanted felon, with outstanding warrants for rape, armed robbery and kidnapping.  The car was stolen, and  loaded down with stolen goods from various store and storage building burglaries.  

 

Not every one I chased was that bad, but several were, including two escapees (different chases) from State Prisons.  

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12 hours ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

 

 

I'm asking about generalities, not this specific incident.

 

Of course the office doesn't have all the information.  That's kinda my point, which I sort of addressed in my first response.  Is a100+mph chase of a guy who doesn't want his license suspended worth it?  How many of these people would continue to run at high speed for tens of miles if the officer backed off after getting a good description and got on the radio and coordination was used to lay a trap for the driver?   

 

As I posted in my second reply, and as Alpo posted, develop procedures and processes to try to cut down on the chases.  

Unless you’ve been there you have no valid opinion 

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In my younger days, I had the opportunity and privilege of riding with officers and being involved in a high speed chase. It was an experience! The police have numerous tools to deal with high speed pursuit, BUT!! they don’t have ESP or any other precognitive powers.  They have procedures and operational guidelines for almost every situation and training that is, in most cases, thorough and ongoing.

 

 I got this opportunity because I had, on more than one occasion, successfully evaded pursuing officers, even with their use of radio and helicopter/aircraft both in cars and on a motorcycle.  In each of these instances, it was on sparsely populated roads/streets with little or no traffic and no one was injured and no property, except the pride of the officers involved, was damaged.

 

Two things in my favor. One was that I knew many of these officers and my father was one of them, although he was no longer involved in day to day operations. The other was that my only offense was evading pursuit!

 

 I got caught a few times when the situation became dangerous enough that I wasn’t willing to risk pushing my own luck or that of those around me, and once when I crashed my vehicle into a rocky ditch. You can’t win ‘em all.

 

On one occasion, the judge fined me heavily and placed me on probation. On another, the Trooper was so impressed that I had terminated the chase on my own when conditions became too dangerous, after easily outrunning him to the point of disappearing, he testified in my defense!

 

These events happened long ago, when the world was a better place.

 

I was lucky!  I got that ride because a judge decided that I should see the other side of high speed pursuit!

 

Evading pursuit still happens! All the rules and all the equipment available can’t always prevent it and in today’s world it’s often not worth the risk to chase down the new breed of offender, except where the public would be endangered more by letting that culprit go on.  
 

AND NO!! Many of these fools today will NOT slow down or try to blend in because of those very same radios and aerial surveillance platforms.

 

The question remains, who should make the decision and at what point and under what circumstances should that decision be made! In most cases the decision is as likely to be wrong as it is right!

 

 

 

 

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On 9/21/2023 at 8:24 PM, Alpo said:

The video Dave posted. It's in that article. A retarded guy who just like to drive around the neighborhood. His mother is a little upset. Said if the cop had just backed off, he would have come home. Then the cops could have come to the house and give him his speeding ticket.

So the mother created the situation by allowing the guy to drive around the neighborhood when he should not have been behind the wheel. And the trooper was supposed to know that the guy would just gone on back home?

 

She really should have found another way to entertain her son that didn't involve unsupervised operation of a two ton vehicle on the public roadway.

 

On 9/21/2023 at 8:24 PM, Alpo said:

Possibly the author of this article had an agenda.

It's the Washington Post. Of course the author had an agenda.

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We have laws and police for a reason ( mostly good reasons ) if we stop obeying the laws because someone “ might get hurt “ just get rid of the laws and police and everything will be just fine. ( snowflake theory) You can’t have a DECENT society with out laws to govern decent and just behavior and you will always need police to enforce those laws and courts to see justice is metered out fairly. It is a certainty that some innocent people will suffer and if it turns out to be one of us that sucks but everyone will suffer if we keep up this downward spiral of letting criminals slide because something bad could happen 

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The officer and his dispatcher made a real time decision..... with the best info they had.  Sorry that it ended the way it did.....But as Mom always said "play stupid games, win stupid prizes"

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On 9/21/2023 at 2:16 PM, Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967 said:

Driver kept swerving into oncoming traffic... trooper did as ordered; driver perished, but did not take anyone else with him.

No great loss... in fact, no loss at all.

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Wow, always woulda coulda shoulda by the armchair quarterbacks.

 

Good to see an officer of the law allowed to do his job.  Young man may reconsider stopping vehicles at 100 mph or work on his skills.  He may not always be so blessed.

 

It is always sad to see the good people punished for bad peoples behaviors, in this case they won't be.

 

Why did perp run?  Drugs?

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We have another memorial and mural in my local area here.

Kid on a crotch rocket hit the wall, estimated speed as high as 140 mph.
Dunno if that speed is obtainable or not, but the 20 year old kid is still dead.
This summer we have about one of these fatalities every week.

The childish belief in personal immortality appears pervasive in all these deaths.
I'm not surprised it carries over into 4-wheel vehicles as well.

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