North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper Cody Thao risked his own life to stop an impaired driver going the wrong way by using his own car as a barrier.
In a dashcam recording posted to Twitter, Thao can be seen intentionally crashing his own car into the path of the driver to stop him from going into the interstate while driving the wrong way.
Joshua Bibey, the 26-year-old suspect, was chased from Johnston County before he entered Raleigh, reaching the speed of 100 miles per hour. Thao raced down I-40 and exited Rocky Quarry Road, cutting off Bibey, who was driving 50 miles an hour before crashing into Thao.
“Once I saw the vehicle, I just decided to stop the chase right there,” Thao told Fox 12. “This is what we signed up to do, this is what we agreed to do. All the credit goes out to the other troopers who inspire me on a daily basis especially here in Wake County.”
The 28-year-old trooper has been with the patrol for less than a year, having graduated from the academy only seven months ago.
“He was either going to hit me or hit someone else coming eastbound on I-40,” Thao told WRAL. “I realize how lucky I am to walk away completely unscathed — not a single scratch on me — and it’s just a testament to God and his mercy.”
Troopers are not trained to chase drivers on the wrong side of the highway. Officials said Thao’s action may have been the last attempt to stop the driver before an accident could have occurred. He was praised for his quick action and for putting his life at risk for the safety of others.
“His willingness to put himself in harm’s way is representative of the lifesaving work our members do each day,” Colonel Freddy L. Johnson, Jr., commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, was quoted as saying. “Placing others before ourselves is not just a saying among the law enforcement profession, it’s a reality of what we do for the betterment of the communities we serve.”
Bibey was arrested and charged with driving while impaired.