A pregnant Arkansas woman’s car was turned on top of a pursuing state trooper who accused the motorist of not pulling fast enough, according to the video of the short hunter used in her trial.
Nicole Harper, 38, went to bed on July 9 and thought her unborn child had died in the crash on US Highway 167 in Jacksonville, Arkansas, her attorney Andrew Norwood said.
“She was crying herself to sleep,” Norwood told NBC News on Wednesday.
Harper was walking 84 mph in a 70 mph zone when trooper Rodney Dunn flashed his siren and flashed lights for her to retreat, according to her lawsuit filed last month in Pulaski County Circuit Court.
Dashcam video, obtained by Harper̵
But on the stretch to the southbound US 167, the shoulders are narrow, and Harper wanted to pull safely at an exit, the motorist has claimed.
“It’s essentially a bowling alley with bumpers on both sides,” Norwood said. “There is nowhere to go; you are framed by concrete barriers on both sides.”
The pursuit was 2 minutes and 7 seconds long when the trooper knocked on the back of Harper’s car in a “pursuit intervention technique”, more commonly known as a “PIT maneuver”, the trial said.
The cock caused Harper’s car to suddenly turn left and out of the dashboard view. The trooper immediately made a 180 and circled back to see the red SUV at the top, the footage showed.
The trooper’s action “constituted a reckless attempt to engage in conduct that posed a significant risk of physical harm,” Harper’s civil complaint said.
In the video, the trooper approached Harper’s turned car, and when he helped her out of the wreck, he asked, “Why didn’t you stop?”
“Because I did not feel it was safe,” she replied
“Well this is where you ended up,” replied the trooper. “Ma’am, you’ll have to pull yourself out.”
The Arkansas Driving License Manual urges motorists to pull “to the nearest / safest place off the traffic lane” when police carry out a pullover.
At the emergency room that night, a doctor told the two-month-old Harper that a fetal heartbeat could not be detected, and she thought the baby was dead, Norwood said.
But an exam of her OB-GYN the next morning picked up the heartbeat, and Harper’s daughter was born in February.
In addition to driving fast, Harper is accused of not giving in to an emergency vehicle that carries a maximum penalty of $ 400 in fines.
A Arkansas State Police spokeswoman declined to comment on both the July 9 trial and the incident.