A North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper risked his own life to stop a suspected drunk driver. Trooper Cody Thao was on patrol when he heard a radio call that Johnston County sheriff's deputies were involved in a high-speed chase with a car.
As Thao exited the highway, he saw the vehicle speeding toward him, going the wrong way on the exit ramp. He knew he had to stop the driver, so he angled his patrol vehicle and let the car slam into him at 50 mph.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol released the dashcam video of the high-impact collision. Miraculously, Thao was not injured in the crash.
"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," Thao said.
The driver, identified as 26-year-old Joshua Ray Bibey, was arrested and charged with driving while impaired. He was taken to the hospital for an evaluation after the crash, but authorities did not provide information about his condition.
Officials praised Thao for his quick thinking and bravery.
"I could not be prouder of Trooper Thao and his quick decision to stop the wrong-way driver, his actions most undoubtedly saved lives," said Col. Freddy L. Johnson, Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol. "His willingness to put himself in harm's way is representative of the lifesaving work our members do each day. Placing others before ourselves is not just a saying amongst the law enforcement profession, it's a reality of what we do for the betterment of the communities we serve."