Local News

Decorated state trooper injured while pursuing reckless driver

Posted September 1, 2014

— A decorated state trooper was injured Monday afternoon after hitting a median to avoid a wreck while pursuing a reckless driver.

Trooper Jack L. Thorpe responded to Lake Wheeler Road near Interstate 40 due to numerous calls of reckless driving by several motorcycles, said Lt. Jeff Gordon, Highway Patrol spokesman.

Once arriving in the area, Thorpe observed a red sports bike driving recklessly. The motorcyclist fled after Thorpe activated his lights and sirens, Gordon said.

As Thorpe approached Interstate 40, a car coming off the highway turned into the path of his vehicle. Thorpe missed the car by veering to the left, but then struck the median, Gordon said.

Thorpe received minor injuries but was taken to WakeMed for evaluation.

Thorpe earned the Highway Patrol's Distinguished Service Award and Meritorious Award in 2010 for taking care of three children whose father and stepmother he suspected of abuse. In 2011, he was nominated for  the "America's Most Wanted" All Star competition, which lets viewers of the popular crime show pick a first responder to honor.

The motorcycle was last seen travelling on Bloodworth Street near downtown Raleigh. The operator was described as a black male, weighing approximately 280 pounds wearing a black vest with an unknown white insignia.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Highway Patrol at 919-733-3861.

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  • Amy Smathers Sep 2, 2014
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    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! Multiple people called this guy in. This was not someone doing 5 over. What would you all be saying if he would have said "oh well, he sped up. Guess I will let him go" and dude killed a family of 4???

  • A cold, hard dose of Hans Sep 2, 2014

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    Oh, please.

  • disgusted2010 Sep 2, 2014

    Haters out in full force today.

  • Lorna Schuler Sep 2, 2014
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    Very concise and to the point. Thank you.

  • btneast Sep 2, 2014

    I mean really, is issuing a speeding ticket worth someone’s life? That's not the way a trooper looks at it. They see a serious accident looking for a place to happen, and they are trying to prevent it from happening. Many of us see speeding as not that serious of an offense, when in reality, it is statistically a fact that increased speeds cause more traffic deaths. We see speeding as something everybody does, no big deal. Troopers see speeding as very dangerous and a threat to public safety. Reckless driving , which this guy was doing, even more so. Troopers see a LOT of dead bodies regularly in car wrecks, they get tired of knocking on doors to tell someone their loved one is dead.

  • Classified Sep 2, 2014

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    Yeah of course speeding is breaking the law but with the police tearing down the road we now have TWO people endangering the lives of others AND greatly increasing the risk of an accident. It’s better to disengage and ensure that they are not going to contribute to a fatal accident. I mean really, is issuing a speeding ticket worth someone’s life?

  • Lorna Schuler Sep 2, 2014
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    And as others have stated, if he hadn't done his job ie...attempt to stop someone who was breaking the law (and speeding is breaking the law no matter how you twist it)... and the motorcyclist had caused an accident that injured or killed innocent people, all, every single one of you talking smack now would have been complaining the LEO's didn't do anything to stop this guy. I've been on the beltline and interstates where these guys are flying down the road, flying between the car lanes at breakneck speed and cutting in and out of traffic with no wiggle room. THEY are endangering everyone else out there.

  • Classified Sep 2, 2014

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    So sorry but I doubt many people would consider it their civic duty to have their life or the lives of loved ones jeopardized so that a fleeing motorcycle can be caught. I’m sure he’s also trained in the operation of his two way radio, try that instead.

  • Amy Smathers Sep 2, 2014
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    Hate the police? Next time you need help call that motorcyclist. I am sure he would be glad to assist you!

  • Singlemalt Sep 2, 2014

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    BS. They are trained and due to reckless driving of another you have to speed to catch the person who is fleeing.

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