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State Trooper Intentionally Collides with I-10 Wrong-Way Driver

ADOT thermal imaging wrong way indicators are an attempt to prevent head on collisions when drivers enter roadways and proceed into oncoming traffic.

Sedona AZ (October 19, 2018) – On October 14, 2018, at 7:33 p.m., Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) troopers received reports of a wrong-way vehicle traveling east within the westbound traffic lanes of Interstate 10, near Avra Valley, Tucson. A trooper, assisting a stranded motorist in the area, heard the reports, responded, and ultimately collided intentionally with the wrong-way vehicle.

At about 7:40 p.m. or seven minutes after hearing the report, the trooper spotted the wrong-way vehicle approaching him head-on near Cortaro Road. The trooper aligned the front left corner of his patrol vehicle with the front left corner of the wrong-way vehicle and forced an intentional collision that immediately stopped the dangerous incident and or a potentially fatal event.

The wrong-way driver was found to be a disoriented, elderly woman. She was not properly restrained during the collision and sustained a non-life-threatening injury. She was taken to Banner University Medical Center in Tucson.

The quick thinking and selfless trooper was treated for minor injuries.

AZDPS Director Colonel Frank Milstead said, “The ability of our trooper to assess the situation and take decisive action to stop the wrong-way vehicle protected the lives of many motorists while endangering his own. I am proud of our brave trooper and pray he makes a full recovery and never has to face another wrong-way in his life.”

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a state-level law enforcement agency whose mission is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity and providing vital support to the State of Arizona and its citizens.

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