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Vass officer 'just held on' during crash with wrong-way driver

Posted November 20, 2013
Updated November 21, 2013

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— A Vass police officer is drawing big praise for putting himself in harm’s way Tuesday night to stop a wrong-way driver on U.S. Highway 1 in Moore County.

With lights flashing and siren blaring, Andrew Schofield poised his patrol car between the illegal driver and other vehicles. He hoped the lights and sound would alert her to stop, but she plowed into him instead.

“I love my job. I love coming to work every day,” said Schofield, who was treated and released for minor injuries following the crash.

What he doesn’t love is the attention. He says he was just doing his job.

“You know, we have to save lives out there. I feel like that’s what I did, because if I wouldn’t have, somebody else behind me could have gotten hurt,” said Schofield, 29. “There were other vehicles behind me.”

The officer got the call about the wrong-way at about 8:15. He encountered the Nissan Maxima going about 60 mph.

“I made a split-second decision to stay in the lane and stop her from hitting anybody else,” he said.

He turned his cruiser to a slight angle, stopped and braced for impact.

“I just held onto the steering wheel,” Schofield said. “That’s all you can do is just hold on.”

After the collision, the officer called it in and ran to check on the driver, identified as 67-year-old Donna Kramer. Police said she is diabetic and might have suffered a diabetic seizure.

She was barely conscious after the wreck, Schofield said.

“I told her to hang on, EMS and everybody were on the way,” he said.

The officer said he was just doing what he was trained to do.

“It’s not like you could just follow her up the road in the wrong lanes,” Schofield said. “That would have just added to more chaos.”

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  • simplelogic Nov 21, 2013

    Downtowner, I'm perfectly aware that driving on the wrong side of the road is illegal, but if it happened because of a medical condition I seriously doubt that it would be considered a "crime". Extenuating circumstances and all that. Why don't we wait and let the courts decide; in the meantime it isn't "clear" at all.

  • lwe1967 Nov 21, 2013

    I am glad that the officer was not seriously hurt. He did put himself in harms way. I am diabetic, but have never, thank God, had a seizure. I have had my sugar go down very low and it no picnic. I was at home and had the presence to phone 911 and my next door neighbor and help was at hand. I hope that the women is better also.

  • downtowner Nov 21, 2013

    "What crime did she "clearly" commit?"

    Simplelogic you may want to go back and read the North Carolina Driver's handbook. This is from the handbook:

    Basic Driving Skills and Rules

    Driving on Your Side of the Road
    The law requires you to drive on the right side of the road. Driving on the left side is legal only in some cases, such as on one-way streets and while passing. When you are moving slower than the posted speed limit on a multi-lane highway, drive in the extreme right lane unless you are passing, turning left or
    avoiding an obstruction.

  • dbayard814 Nov 21, 2013

    The officer did what he had to do to protect the public. That's his duty. Lesson learned: don't drive in the far left lane of a divided highway at night except to pass unless you can see red taillights ahead of you in your lane. Drunk drivers (not saying the driver in this case was drunk) are known to enter onto divided highways going the wrong direction without their headlights on and drive in the far left lane. You'll never see them until it's too late.

  • simplelogic Nov 21, 2013

    "becuase I don't want to get hit by her."

    Maybe YOU should stay off the road - thereby eliminating all risk of you being hit by her or anyone else. Downtowner, it was reported that the driver of the other car was having a diabetic seizure. What crime did she "clearly" commit? Medical emergencies happen. Accidents happen. Life isn't safe, and there isn't always someone to blame.

  • downtowner Nov 21, 2013

    Why is there no discussion about the driver? Is she being charged with something? Was alcohol or drugs involved? She is clearly a hazard to other drivers and should not be behind the wheel of a vehicle again. I hope they charge her with the crime that she clearly committed. She could have killed someone.

  • briandeel Nov 21, 2013

    GETOUT, what would the decision be looked into? When we put on our uniforms each day we have a duty to protect the lives of those within our communities. A duty to put their lives before ours to ensure their safety. The only alternative in this situation is to simply move out of the way and let her continue traveling the wrong way on a major, heavily traveled hwy. Sure he could give chase and that would certainly increase the erratic behavior of the driver further increasing the risk to the rest of the motoring public. When two vehicles collide head on, both traveling at 60 mph, the result is catastrophic and death and/or serious injury of all parties is likely. We are trained to recognize and react to threats to ensure the safety of our public. Officer Schofield had the courage to do his job as trained, recognize and react to an imminent threat. This has nothing to do with a small or large agency but everything to do with standing behind the courage of an officer.

  • Obamacare for one and all Nov 21, 2013

    sandim, becuase I don't want to get hit by her. Is that a good enough reason for you?

  • sandim50 Nov 21, 2013

    obamacare............WHY!..... because she has Diabetes, or once in her life, she has done what is not a rarity, getting on a highway in the wrong direction? What is her overall driving record?

  • Obamacare for one and all Nov 21, 2013

    Let's all hope this woman never gets back on the road again.

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