HOUSTON – A woman has filed a lawsuit against troopers in Arkansas following an attempted stop that ended when her vehicle flipped over.
According to court documents, Janice Nicole Harper, who was pregnant at the time, was not able to safely stop on the right or left shoulder due to concrete barriers and a reduced shoulder.
The lawsuit said the trooper was attempting to pull her over for allegedly speeding around 9 p.m. on July 9, 2020.
Harper’s attorney shared a dashcam video that shows her vehicle’s blinker light turn on. The vehicle appears to slow and then the flashers are turned on. The vehicle continues driving until the trooper hits her vehicle about two minutes later. The maneuver leads the vehicle to veer out of the frame and is then seen flipped over.
“I thought it would be safer to wait until the exit,” the woman is heard saying in the video.
The trooper responds: “No ma’am. You should pull over when law enforcement stops ya, ok? You were running 84 miles per hour. I was trying to get you to stop.”
Arkansas State Police said they could not comment on the case because of the pending lawsuit.
Harper’s attorney said her baby is ok and now four months old.
KPRC 2 asked a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety what drivers in Texas should do when they’re being pulled over.
“We want them to pull over as fast as possible but in a safe manner,” said Sgt. Justin Ruiz.
But what if they don’t feel safe stopping immediately?
“We want them to slow their speed down and turn on their hazards,” Ruiz said. “That kind of tells us we’re looking for a safe spot to stop.”
Ruiz said that could mean the shoulder or next exit.
Just as important: what should drivers not do?
“We don’t want drivers to speed up or do a lot of hand movements in their car. That could be telling us that something bad might be going on,” Ruiz said.
Drivers can stop in places like a parking lot or driveway if the road does not have a shoulder, Ruiz said.