National Guard, State Police and PennDOT escort infant in need of heart surgery
A 23-month-old boy in need of emergency heart surgery was driven 88 miles by ambulance through Tuesday’s snowstorm to Geisinger Medical Center. Plow trucks, state police vehicles and the Pennsylvania National Guard led the way in an emergency escort across Interstate 80. There’s no word yet on the boy’s condition. “At approximately 9:30 a.m. today Lehigh Valley Health Network Pocono made a request to the PennDOT Monroe County Maintenance office for a plow truck escort for an ambulance to transport a 23-month-old child from their facility in Stroudsburg to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville for an emergency heart surgery,” said Sean Brown, press officer, PennDOT District 5. The convoy left LVHN Pocono at approximately 10:15 a.m., according to Brown. Two plow trucks led the ambulance, joined by a state police sport utility vehicle and two National Guard Humvees. Cpl. Adam Reed, communications director for the Pennsylvania State Police, said the convoy reached Geisinger’s Danville campus about 2:40 p.m. Roads were snowy and slick as Tuesday's storm dumped snow nearing 20 inches in parts of Eastern and Central Pennsylvania. Officials didn’t say how fast the vehicles were able to travel or if any stops had to be made along the way. “They got there safely and as conditions permitted, which was the most important thing,” Reed said. “We don't have any updates right now on this story, as patient privacy is a priority,” said Joseph Stender, Geisinger communications officer. Gov. Tom Wolf spoke about the escort during a live address about the snowstorm Tuesday afternoon. “The child went to the hospital in East Stroudsburg. It was determined he needed a transplant and had to go back to Danville to Geisinger to get it,” Wolf said. “PennDOT led the way with a plow train. State police went with the group to make sure they were safe. The National Guard followed to make sure if anything happened they could help. Local emergency responders and medical practitioners made sure the baby was safe while they made the trip,” Wolf said. “We’ve done what we can at the commonwealth and we wish the best of luck to doctors at Geisinger for their life-saving work,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richard during the press conference.
The Missouri State Senate unanimously approved Lt. Col. Sandy Karsten as Missouri State Highway Patrol superintendent
The Missouri Senate last week unanimously approved Lt. Col. Sandy Karsten as Missouri State Highway Patrol superintendent, making her the first woman to hold the position since the patrol’s inception 81 years ago. Karsten, who was nominated by Gov. Eric Greitens, was sitting in the gallery as the vote took place, surrounded by her “brothers and sisters” from the patrol. She received praise from both sides of the aisle “She is in this position because everything she has worked for and her ability, and nothing to do with the fact that she is a man or a woman,” said Sen. Gina Walsh, the Democratic minority leader. “She is the most qualified individual for this position, and I’m honored she will be leading our Highway Patrol shortly.” In an interview with the Globe after the vote, Karsten, eyes welled with unshed tears, said she was overwhelmed with pride and honor. Karsten started as a state trooper and worked up to the second-ranking position. Ever since Col. Bret Johnson retired Feb. 1, Karsten has been the acting superintendent. “I bring a different approach to the office,” Karsten said. “I bring the perspective of being a mother, wife and sister.With the state’s budget crisis, Karsten said she will take a deeper look at the patrol’s more than 1,000 officers to make sure they are positioned in the right spot to produce the most effective results. “It’s time to go to work,” Karsten said. Maj. Kemp Shoun was one of the “brothers” in attendance and joked he had known Karsten “since she was a mere child.” They were in the same academy class in 1985, and he worked for her as a captain in human resources. “If you worked around her, you saw this coming years ago,” Shoun said, adding that Karsten’s “talent has always been evident.” Shoun described Karsten as a “high interaction person” who leads by example and wants the goals and standards she sets to be followed. “It would have been easy for her to ask someone else to figure out the hard parts,” Shoun said. “But she would always be part of the problem-solving. She would get down into the weeds with you and learn what’s involved.” Shoun said Karsten’s ascendance was “history-making“. There is no more glass ceiling here,” he said.
State Police Trooper says son's advice helped save his life
After suffering serious injuries while saving another person's life, State Trooper Chris Prenaveau had a lot of people to thank — the staff at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, where he was treated, the state troopers and his wife, Candaliza. But it was a skill taught to him by his 11-year-old son Charlie that might have saved his life. "(He's) into parkour," Prenaveau said, explaining that Parkour is a training discipline using movement that developed from military obstacle course training. "He's the one who taught me how to jump up over a vehicle. Unfortunately, I didn't make it over the vehicle." On Saturday, Prenaveau pushed a man out of the way of an oncoming car before being struck himself in Madbury. Despite the injury, on Monday he was in good spirits and continuing to recover. Looking back on Saturday's incident, Prenaveau said he saw no other option but to save the man's life. "We were either both going to get hit or one of us get hit," he said. "So there really wasn't much of a choice." Prenaveau had responded to a single-vehicle crash on French Cross Road. The driver, Keith Correll, 21, of Barrington was discussing the crash with Prenaveau when another vehicle, driven by Anne Golding, 36, of Barrington, lost control on the icy road and slid toward the trooper and Correll. Prenaveau pushed Correll out of the way before jumping in the air as Golding's vehicle struck him. He landed on the hood of the car before being thrown into the roadway, police said on Saturday. The trooper also thanked his daughters, Lauren, 5, and Catiana, 13, who are both avid gymnasts. "They're the ones who taught me to swing like a monkey, I guess," Prenaveau said, "and that's pretty much what happened that day." Given the nature of the accident, the trooper's injuries are fairly minor. He suffered some cuts to his face and said his back is sore, but there were no broken bones or major injuries". Just a little banged up," Prenaveau said. "Just a little sore in the back, a little sore in the facial area. Still picking some glass out of my face, but other than that, pretty good for what happened that day. I think everybody was lucky that day." The 10-year veteran of the state police said he has not had contact with Correll, but the man's mother did visit Prenaveau in the hospital. "That was not necessary," he said. "That's why we're here." This is the second time in just a few months that Prenaveau has been recognized for helping to save a life. In November, he performed CPR on a man who collapsed and stopped breathing in the Epping Walmart. Prenaveau was off-duty at the time. When asked about developing a reputation as a "Superman," the trooper shook the compliment off as an exaggeration. "I wouldn't say that," he said. "Just being in the right place at the right time and having the right training through the state police, and with the division supporting me as much as they do and giving me the tools to do my job the way I was taught to do it." Commander Christopher Vetter commended Prenaveau for his actions". Now you know what we know," Vetter said, "which is that Chris is an exceptional trooper." Gov. Chris Sununu took to Twitter to thank Prenaveau for his service."Chris' bravery & sacrifice today truly embody the spirit of selflessness & public service found in the (New Hampshire troopers)," Sununu tweeted on Saturday. Prenaveau did not offer a timetable for when he would return to work, saying that he would be back on patrol as soon as he fully recovered. When asked if he would have done anything differently, only one thing came to mind". I think I would have jumped higher," Prevaneau said with a laugh.
49 new Virginia State Troopers graduate
The 125th generation of Virginia State Troopers graduated on Friday. The 49 new troopers received their diplomas after more than 1,600 hours of classroom and field training. They studied more than 100 subjects, including defensive tactics, ethics and leadership, and judicial procedures. These new troopers will report to their assignments across the Commonwealth on Monday for their final phase of training. The troopers are from across Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
California Highway Patrol begins taking delivery of Dodge Charger Pursuits
Several months back you might remember hearing that the California Highway Patrol was looking to replace 580 of their aging vehicles with Dodge Charger Pursuits. Well, the time has finally come and the Charger Pursuits are hitting the streets. Equipped with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 making 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, the Charger Pursuit has plenty of power for everyday police. It is unclear whether or not CHP opted for the AWD version of the Charger Pursuit for the more snow-covered regions of California, but the V-6 version of the Charger Pursuit does come with the option of either RWD or AWD. The 2017 Charger Pursuit is the first year where departments can utilize a 12.1 Uconnect mobile command center with a wireless keyboard. This allows departments to relocate their computer to the rear of the vehicle and make more room for the officer. It will be interesting to see how officers like the change in vehicles since CHP had recently switched over the Ford Intercepter Utility. Coming to a highway near you! The new California Highway Patrol Dodge Charger.
Trooper outside car hit after driver falls asleep
A Utah Highway Patrol trooper was critically injured Monday after he was hit by his own car while standing on I-15 during a three-vehicle crash caused by a driver who fell asleep, investigators said. Trooper Devin Gurney, 27, who has been with the highway patrol for three years, was taken to Utah Valley Hospital in critical condition, though his injuries are not considered to be life-threatening, according to UHP Sgt. Todd Royce. "Our greatest concern every day is that our troopers will be safe. I'm so grateful that injuries for all involved in this crash weren't worse," Department of Public Safety Commissioner Keith Squires said on Twitter Monday. Gurney had pulled over another vehicle in the far left emergency lane of traffic about 11 a.m. He was out of his vehicle to conduct the traffic stop when an SUV veered across multiple lanes and slammed into the rear of the trooper's car. The UHP car was pushed forward during the collision and hit Gurney, said Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon.
Traffic stop leads to discovery of $1.75M worth of pot
What started as a traffic stop on Interstate 94 in west-central Minnesota last week resulted in the arrest of three St. Paul men for having nearly 600 pounds of high-grade marijuana in a truck. According to a criminal complaint filed in Otter Tail County District Court, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper was watching eastbound traffic on I-94 in Fergus Falls on March 1 when he noticed a Ford truck with obstructed license plates. The trooper pulled the truck over near mile marker 56 and asked two of the three men to wait outside while he spoke to the driver. The driver said he and the two men, who were his brothers, had flown to California to pick up the truck from his in-laws and were driving back to Minnesota. However, the driver’s timeline and explanation was contradictory and when the trooper spoke to the other two men, their stories did not match the driver’s timeline of the previous few days, the complaint said. The truck was eventually towed and searched. In the truck bed, investigators allegedly found about 18 large duffel bags, each holding about 25 shrink-wrapped packages of high-grade hydroponically grown marijuana. Investigators estimated the 570 pounds of marijuana has a street value of about $1.75 million.
CHP Officers find 2 calves crammed in abandoned car
It was one of the more unusual calls the California Highway Patrol has received: Someone reported seeing a cow trying to climb out of a small car parked alongside an interstate. Officers responding Saturday along a mountain pass in Southern California’s Riverside County discovered a calf trying to escape from a Honda Civic’s open trunk. Another calf was crammed into the floor of the backseat. Both calves’ hooves were tied. Investigators say the driver was nowhere to be found. The car is registered to an address in Tulare County, more than 250 miles away. Authorities said Monday that the vehicle had not been reported stolen. It’s been impounded as evidence. The calves will be cared for at a ranch while officials try to determine who owns them.
CHP officer pulls 'distraught' teen back from overcrossing
A California Highway Patrol officer pulled a "distraught" 14-year-old girl back from an over crossing over Highway 58 on Friday after it appeared she was going to jump. Officer Marshall Miller, among several officers called to the scene at 12:05 p.m., saw the teen standing outside the railing of the Fairfax Road over crossing, looking down at the traffic below, officers said. At 12:26 p.m., after several minutes of talking with the teen and watching her rock forward and peer down at the traffic lanes, Miller saw an opening, officers said. He quickly lunged toward her, wrapped his arms around her and pulled her back over the railing. The teen was released to the Kern County Mental Health Evaluation Team for treatment.
Perfect timing: beer truck crash caught on cam
A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper’s dashcam captured an amazing coincidence of timing during a recent crash. Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Travis Smaka had pulled over a driver for speeding. “You guys have anything to drink tonight?” Smaka asks the driver. As the driver answers, squealing brakes can be heard. Trooper Smaka and the driver are then pelted with beer bottles and cans. “Well, over 1,000 pounds of beer shattering and a tidal wave of beer coming at me,” Smaka says. A truck driver had lost control of his beer rig, spilling his load.
California Highway Patrol graduates 126 new officers
Crash pushed state police car into troopers conducting traffic stop
A dump truck struck a New Jersey State Police car on Interstate 80, pushing it into a traffic stop and injuring two troopers and a third driver. The cause of the Thursday afternoon crash that tied up westbound traffic for hours in Warren County is still under investigation, state police announced on social media late Friday morning. The injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. State police said the first trooper stopped a Honda Accord and was speaking to the driver outside the car at mile marker 5.3, about a mile east of the exit for Routes 94 and 46 in Knowlton Township and five miles from the Pennsylvania border at the Delaware Water Gap. Another trooper was en route when their Chevrolet Caprice was struck in the rear by a Mack truck, pushing the police car onto the right shoulder and into the Accord, which in turn was pushed forward into the first trooper and the Accord's driver, state police said. The troopers and the Accord's driver were flown to Morristown Memorial Hospital. The truck's driver was not hurt, authorities said. The highway was closed and detoured during the evening rush hour during the initial investigation. Some readers reported being stuck in standstill traffic for two hours or more.
Michigan State Police troopers bust driver with 45 pounds of marijuana
Michigan State Police troopers busted a 25-year-old man from West Bloomfield after discovering 45 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle. Troopers assigned to the Hometown Security Team were conducting a traffic stop on southbound I-75 near Gibraltar Road in Brownstown Township on February 28. After pulling the driver over, troopers detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the 2016 Dodge Dart. Troopers located the marijuana in the trunk of the vehicle. The driver told police he was driving to Toledo, Ohio with the marijuana. The man was arrested and is in jail as prosecutors review the case.
Wyoming Highway Patrol gets slick new look
On Feb. 21 Wyoming Highway Patrol introduced a new active pilot program featuring “slick top” cars to increase highway and road safety. Slick top patrol cars differ from standard patrol cars in the absence of a light bar on the roof. “These new patrol cars allow police officers to see and observe a whole lot more than officers in normal patrol cars ever will,” Wyoming Highway Patrol Lieutenant David Wagener said. Wagener said slick top patrol vehicles are less likely to be recognized right away, preventing a distracted driver from correcting their behavior only before driving near or past a police officer. Colonel Kebin Haller said in a press release that the highway patrol had been discussing a program like this for the past year. “Slick top enforcement patrol vehicles are not new to law enforcement or other highway patrol agencies throughout the country,” Haller said Slick top patrol cars could provide several benefits for the state of Wyoming’s highways and safety efforts. “In my personal vehicle I have seen so many distracted drivers, people will pull up to a stoplight and be using their phone,” Wagner said. “Where as if they see a cop they are more likely to put their phone away and pay attention, but return to whatever they were doing as soon as they go their separate way from the police officer.” State troopers assigned to slick top patrol vehicles will see and observe a great deal more, and recognize distracted drivers much more easily, Wagener said. It may also support efforts to stop human and contraband trafficking. “One example of how this would work is if I was heading east-bound on I-80 to Cheyenne, and a driver behind me was going 100mph in a 75mph zone.” Wagner said. “Without the identification of a light bar on the roof, the driver is less likely to slow down because of the presence of a state patrolman.” There are students on UW’s campus that agree and disagree with the move. UW Freshman Haley Dollerschell, a speech pathology major, said, “I think the new patrol cars are a good idea because in the long run it will hopefully prevent more accidents that are the result of distracted driving.” UW Freshman Kyle Sager, A secondary education major, disagrees. “I think it’s probably best to keep them on top of the car since that’s what people are used to and it seems to have no problems as far as I can see, so why would you change it?” Sager said. Only five new slick tops vehicles will be used across the state of Wyoming until effects of the initiative are determined. If the results are positive, entire fleets could be considered for upgrades to slick tops. Each of Wyoming’s five highway patrol districts will receive one slick top vehicle, Wagener said.
Michigan State Police crack down on left-lane drivers
Driving in the left lane in Michigan is illegal, unless to pass someone and Michigan State Police are about to crack down on left-lane drivers. Beginning Wednesday, March 1 through the end of April, troopers will be pulling over people who use the left lane for anything other than passing a vehicle. Lieutenant Chris McIntire commands the Rockford Post and says road rage is a big problem with left-lane hogs. "They over take them on the right and cause an accident or ride them on their bumper which causes the person in front to get mad. It causes a whole bunch of issues for us." The main focus in West Michigan will be U.S. 131 in Kent and Montcalm counties.