A Maine State Trooper's quick thinking this week saved several lives after he sacrificed his police vehicle to save the life of not just a wrong way driver, but a couple that was heading right for him, an event
all caught on the trooper's on board video system.
It all started when Trooper Douglas Cropper stopped a truck on I-295 outside Portland, Maine this past week, then noticed a late model Toyota Corolla flying the wrong way down the highway with an 88 year old man at the wheel. Cropper immediately left the vehicle he had pulled over and started after the wrong way driver.
Cropper then got off the freeway to attempt to get ahead of the wrong way driver- but immediately noticed that construction was impeding the on-ramp back onto the highway. He carefully, yet quickly, figured out how to get on at the next on-ramp, weaving through traffic that had no idea of the emergency at hand.
After getting on the highway, Cropper was ahead of the driver but facing heavy traffic. Just as he pulls around vehicles, he noticed the Corolla coming up on him, and a well placed break in the median allowed him to get on the other side of the highway just seconds before the Corolla rammed his vehicle- his intended plan.
Neither Cropper or the 88-year old driver were injured even as the Corolla was doing close to 50mph when it hit Croppers patrol vehicle. The move was risky, but saved lives, according to
The Press Herald.
"We would have went about 65 to 70 (mph) head-on into the other car," said James Chouinard of Lewiston, who said the car he was riding in, with his wife driving, fishtailed as it stopped just short of the cruiser.
In the end, Cropped did not ticket the elderly man, citing his confusion for the error.
Now the issue of the wrecked cruiser will go to Maine's Fleet Safety Board, which investigates every cruiser crash to determine whether the driver followed policy. Troopers can be disciplined or sent to remedial training if the board finds they didn't.
I certainly hope that the MFSB realizes that lives were obviously saved and that the trooper put his life in danger to save several others.