Arkansas state trooper sued for allegedly causing a pregnant woman's car to flip during traffic stop

An lawyer for Janice Nicole Harper filed the lawsuit final month in Pulaski County, the county seat of Little Rock. Harper, who was two months pregnant on the time of the July 9, 2020, incident, alleges Arkansas State Police Trooper Rodney Dunn negligently carried out the PIT maneuver that resulted in a motorcar collision.

Alan C. Johnson, an Arkansas State Trooper and Dunn’s supervisor, together with Col. William Bryant, Arkansas State Police director, are additionally named within the swimsuit.

The swimsuit additionally states that Arkansas State Police failed to practice Dunn within the acceptable method of initiating a traffic stop on a street with extraordinarily decreased shoulder and in correct and protected PIT maneuver method.

NCS has reached out to the Arkansas State Police for a assertion. NCS has not been ready to attain Dunn, and it’s unknown if he has an lawyer.

According to the lawsuit, Harper was touring on US Highway 67 when Dunn clocked her rushing — she was going 84 mph in a 70 mph zone. The swimsuit states that Dunn activated his emergency lights to provoke a stop on Harper. Within seconds of the trooper initiating his overhead lights, Harper turned on her blinkers and dropped her velocity to 60 mph and moved into the suitable journey lane.

According to the Arkansas Driver License Guide, when drivers are being stopped by the police, they need to activate their flip sign or emergency flashers to point out they’re searching for a protected place to stop and pull over to the suitable facet of the street.

However, due to concrete boundaries and a decreased shoulder on either side of the street, Harper was unable to safely stop her car on the suitable or left shoulder, in accordance to the lawsuit.

Dashcam video from Dunn’s patrol car on the night time of the incident exhibits Harper touring in the suitable lane along with her hazard lights on and slowing down. In the video obtained by NCS, Dunn carried out a PIT maneuver on Harper’s car allegedly causing her to lose management, flipping the car on its high.

“There were no exits or shoulder for Plaintiff to safely exit the highway, before Defendant Dunn negligently executed a PIT maneuver on Plaintiff’s vehicle two minutes and seven seconds after Defendant Dunn initiated his Arkansas State Police patrol cruiser overhead lights, which caused Plaintiff’s vehicle to flip.” the lawsuit said.

Dunn was seen within the dashcam video approaching the wreckage. As he helps her out, he’s heard asking her, “why didnt you stop?”

Harper is heard telling Dunn “because I didn’t feel like it was safe”.

Harper was cited within the incident for rushing and failure to yield to an emergency car, Denton mentioned.

The video additionally exhibits that Harper instructed the trooper she was pregnant as she makes an attempt to get out of the flipped SUV. An lawyer for Harper instructed NCS his consumer did maintain undisclosed accidents within the accident and sought medical therapy. Harper’s unborn little one was not harmed, in accordance to lawyer Joe Denton.

“Defendant Dunn’s conduct constituted a reckless attempt to engage in conduct that created substantial risk of physical injury to Plaintiff,” the lawsuit learn.

NCS’s Amir Vera contributed to this report.


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