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Woman suing Arkansas State Police after brief chase ends with vehicle flipped on roof

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Posted at 7:53 PM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 11:38:04-04

PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. -- A pregnant woman was inside her vehicle when it hit a highway center barrier and flipped on its roof, after being nudged by a state trooper’s car. The woman and the baby are now OK. The incident happened in July 2020.

Video of the crash is now being released by the woman’s attorney as part of her lawsuit against the trooper.

Nicole Harper was going 84 mph in a 70 mph zone, according to her lawsuit, when Arkansas State Trooper Rodney Dunn turned on his siren and lights, indicating she should pull over.

The dashcam video shows Harper slowing down, turning on her blinkers, and changing lanes to the right.

After about 2 minutes, the trooper uses a technique known as a “PIT maneuver.” Dunn’s car tapped the back of Harper’s vehicle.

The tap made Harper’s vehicle veer left and out of view of Dunn’s dashcam video. The video clip shows Dunn turning around and heading back to where Harper’s vehicle ended up.

Audio on the video clip indicates Dunn reported the vehicle was flipped over and called for medical assistance.

Harper’s lawsuit says Dunn’s actions "constituted a reckless attempt to engage in conduct that created substantial risk of physical injury.”

As Dunn tries to help Harper out of the vehicle, she tells him she’s pregnant. While she is still stuck in the vehicle, Dunn asks her why she didn’t pull over.

“Why didn’t you stop?” Dunn is heard asking.

“Because I didn’t feel safe,” Harper says from inside the upside-down vehicle.

“Well, this is where you ended up. Ma’am, you go to pull over,” Dunn responds.

In the emergency room the night of the accident, Harper was told a fetal heartbeat could not be detected, according to multiple media reports. However, the next morning, her OB-GYN was able to pick up the heartbeat and Harper had a girl in February.

Harper is being charged with speeding and failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.