Just after midnight early Friday morning, sheriffs in Johnston County, North Carolina, notified the State Highway Patrol that they were in pursuit of a vehicle traveling in excess of 100 miles-per-hour and that they needed help stopping it.
State Trooper Cody Thao was among the officers who responded. When he saw that the suspect was headed onto Interstate 40 going the wrong way, he positioned his cruiser at the top of the off-ramp to prevent the suspect from driving into oncoming traffic. Patrol Sergeant Marcus Bethea says this situation isn’t something they train for, but Thao made the decision to put his vehicle — and himself — in harm’s way to prevent an innocent bystander from being hurt or killed.
The suspect’s vehicle careened into the side of Thao’s cruiser with the trooper inside, damaging both vehicles. Thao was checked out by EMS at the scene, but wasn’t injured. The suspect was charged with driving while intoxicated and transported to the hospital.