Local News

State trooper nominated as 'America's Most Wanted' All-Star

Posted February 19, 2011 12:16 p.m. EST
Updated February 19, 2011 2:00 p.m. EST

— A North Carolina state trooper noted for a talent for finding and helping people in trouble has been nominated for the "America's Most Wanted" All Star competition.

Senior Trooper Jack L. Thorpe, who is assigned to Johnston County, is up for the annual award that lets viewers of the popular crime show pick a first responder to honor.

Thorpe's nomination praises him for saving the life a wreck victim, helping deliver a baby along the side of the road and taking care of three children whose father and stepmother he suspected of abuse.

"Helping others has always been in his blood," his wife, Sarah, stated in his nomination.

Thorpe gave up a career in engineering to join the Highway Patrol in 2007.

In January 2008, doctors credited him with saving the life of a woman involved in a wreck he witnessed along U.S. Highway 70 in Clayton. The woman had suffered a heart attack, and Thorpe performed CPR until emergency medical workers arrived.

Seven months later, Thorpe helped deliver a baby girl born at the intersection of N.C. Highways 42 and 50. During a routine traffic stop, a couple stopped and asked for his help. Minutes later, Thorpe was holding the newly born Ailey Simmons.

This past fall, Thorpe noticed signs of child abuse when he stopped a car en route to Myrtle Beach, patrol officials said. Social services could take in the kids, but after getting permission, Thorpe took the children to his house until their mother could drive in from another state.

"Helping people is a great feeling," Thorpe stated in his nomination.

He has been awarded the Governor's Award for Excellence and both the highest and second-highest honors from the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

Online viewer voting will determine who wins the America's Most Wanted All Star contest. Voting continues weekly through April 10, and the winner will be announced April 23.

The winner gets a $10,000 cash prize and a trip for two to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Challenge in Charlotte on May 23. 

Two North Carolina lawmen have won previous years of "America's Most Wanted" All Star, which was created in 2005 to honor first responders who commit extraordinary acts.

Winston-Salem Police Officer Daniel Clark won in 2010. While responding to a domestic violence situation in October 2009, Clark's partner was killed and he was shot twice. Clark managed to return fire, killing the suspect.

Burke County Sheriff's Deputy Martin Lawing received the honor in 2008. He shot and paralyzed by a man barricaded in a house in 2007.