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

An attorney for Janice Nicole Harper filed the lawsuit last month in Pulaski County, the county seat of Little Rock. Harper, who was two months pregnant on 9 July 2020, The incident, alleged Arkansas State Police Trooper Rodney Dunn, recklessly performed PIT maneuvers that resulted in a motor vehicle collision.

Arkansas State Trooper and Dunn’s supervisor Alan C. Johnson, along with Arkansas State Police Director Colonel William Bryant, are also named in the trial.

The suit also states that the Arkansas State Police failed to initiate traffic stops on a road with extremely low shoulders and to train Dunn in proper and safe PIT maneuvering technique.

Granthshala has reached out to Arkansas State Police for a statement. Granthshala has not been able to reach Dunn, And it is unknown whether he has a lawyer.

According to the lawsuit, Harper was traveling on U.S. Highway 67 when Dunn noticed her speeding — she was going 84 mph in a 70 mph zone. The suit states that Dunn activated his emergency lights to put a stop to Harper. Within seconds of the soldier starting his overhead lights, Harper turned on his blinkers and dropped his speed to 60 mph and headed into the right travel lane.

According to the Arkansas Driver License Guide, when drivers are being stopped by police, they should activate their turn signals or emergency flashers to indicate that they are looking for a safe place to stop and pull over on the right side of the road. are doing.

However, due to concrete obstacles and reduced shoulders on both sides of the road, Harper was unable to safely stop her vehicle on the right or left shoulder, according to the lawsuit.

Dashcam video from Dunn’s patrol car on the night of the incident shows Harper traveling in the right lane with his hazard lights on and slowing down. In video obtained by Granthshala, Dunn performed a PIT maneuver on Harper’s vehicle, which reportedly caused her to lose control, causing the car to flip over her.

“There was no exit or shoulder for Plaintiff to exit the highway safely, before Defendant Dunn recklessly executed a PIT maneuver on Plaintiff’s vehicle two minutes and seven seconds later, when Defendant Dunn made his Arkansas State Police Patrol started the cruiser overhead light, causing the plaintiff’s vehicle to overturn.” The lawsuit has been called.

Dunn was seen in the dashboard video approaching the rubble. As he helps her, he is heard asking her, “Why didn’t you stop?”

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

Denton said Harper was cited in the incident for speeding and failure to reach an emergency vehicle.

The video also shows Harper telling the cop she was pregnant as she attempted to exit the flipped SUV. A lawyer for Harper told Granthshala that his client had undeclared injuries in the crash and sought medical attention. According to attorney Joe Denton, there was no harm to Harper’s unborn child.

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

Granthshala’s Amir Vera contributed to this report.


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