Arkansas woman sues police for causing her to flip her car while pregnant

The woman was trying to find a safe place to pull over when a state trooper “tapped” her car.

  /  06.10.2021

A woman in Arkansas has filed a lawsuit against a police officer who she says made her flip her car over while she was two months pregnant. According to NBC News, which broke the story on Wednesday (June 9), State Police in Jacksonville, Arkansas attempted to pull over Nicole Harper for speeding last July.

The woman was reportedly driving 84 mph in a 70-mph zone when troopers flagged her down. Harper told the Pulaski County Circuit Court that after being alerted by the troopers, she tried to find a safe place to pull over. However, while she slowed her speed and began changing lanes to stop, Harper said one of the troopers used a “pursuit intervention technique” that caused her car to flip.

The trooper was Rodney Dunn, who NBC reports used a police “PIT maneuver” by “tapping” the back of Harper’s car with his own. The woman said the maneuver made her lose control of her car and caused the vehicle to flip onto its back. Harper’s lawyers said Wednesday the maneuver “constituted a reckless attempt to engage in conduct that created substantial risk of physical injury.”

At the time, the woman was worried that the crash might have killed her unborn baby. Thankfully, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl this February.

A video of the chase and crash shows that Dunn approached Harper’s car after the accident. In the footage, he asked her, “Why didn’t you stop?”

She responded, “Because I didn’t feel like it was safe.”

“Well, this is where you ended up,” the trooper replied. “Ma’am, you got to pull over.” 

In her lawsuit, Harper explained that the accident occurred at night and that the stretch of highway has a very narrow shoulder. The next exit on the freeway, which she was getting ready to pull off on, was less than a mile away.

“I feel like I had heard that’s what you do: you slow down, you put your flashers on and you drive to a safe place,” Harper told NBC. The outlet confirmed that this is the correct protocol, per Arkansas state guidelines.

The woman is currently facing a speeding ticket from the encounter and a fine of up to $400 for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle. 



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