A woman is currently suing an Arkansas State Police after flipping her car after a pursuit on the freeway while she was pregnant.
The mother, 38, had been driving 84 miles per hour in a zone that was 70 miles per hour, states the civil lawsuit.
She slowed down to 60 miles per hour during the impact, and it was located on the US Highway 167 in Jacksonville, Arkansas.
During the time of the accident, she states that Senior Corporal Rodney Dunn had “negligently performed” the Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) which threw her car across multiple lanes before flipping over.
There is dashcam footage of the incident, Harper’s legal team had obtained it to show that the patrol car was indeed pursuing Harper’s car before slamming into the bumper. Because of that traction, her car had swerved out of frame and it is seen, flipped over and smoking.
Dunn’s lawsuit states that he was “unable to safely stop her vehicle on the right or left shoulder due to concrete barriers and a reduced shoulder being on both sides of the road… leaving [her] no room to safely pull over her car”.
He continues to follow her car for two minutes before running into her bumper. In the footage, it shows that Dunn gets out of his car in order to speak to the mother-to-be. She tells him that she would have felt safer if they waited until the exit.
He responds, “No ma’am, you should pull over when law enforcement stops you. We call that a PIT maneuver. When people flee from us… that’s what happens.”
Arkansas State Police and other forces use this kind of technique to intentional hit cars during car chases, and it causes them to spin out. Harper’s attorney reveals that she had gone to bed believing that her unborn child had died in the crash.
She had “cried herself to sleep,” and in the video released to the public, she said that she “wasn’t feeling”. Harper was charged with failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.
Although this was the case, she thinks that the police should look at the policies around the PIT maneuver, re-evaluating the usage of them during car chases.