California Highway Patrol officer killed in line of duty
Officer Kirk Griess was struck and killed by a vehicle while conducting a traffic stop on I-80, near Manuel Campos Parkway, in Solano. Another vehicle entered the area and struck both Officer Griess and the vehicle he had stopped. Officer Griess and the driver of the stopped car were both killed. Officer Griess was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the California Highway Patrol for 19 years. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and son.
West Virginia State Police trooper wins state award
Senior Trooper J.B. Yeager of the Beckley Detachment received a Lifesaving Award Thursday in a ceremony at the West Virginia State Police headquarters. On Sept. 24, 2017, a male was on the Glade Creek Bridge on I-64 in Raleigh County, according to Sgt. R.A. Daniel, commander of the Welch detachment. The male was threatening to jump to his death. The male, who was from Oregon, had phoned 911, and a deputy with the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office had responded to speak with him. Yeager also responded and asked to speak with the male subject, Daniel said. After developing rapport with the male, she was able to convince him to step down from the bridge and transport him to a local hospital for evaluation. The male later said if it weren’t for Yeager’s kindness and compassion, he would have jumped to his death. “Trooper Yeager’s commitment to duty, compassion and caring exemplify the traits of the West Virginia State Police,” Daniel said.
Ohio state troopers seize $6.3 million worth of cocaine during traffic stop
Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers have filed felony charges against a Canadian man after finding $6.3 million worth of cocaine in a car he was driving on July 31. The Patrol says troopers stopped a rented 2018 Chrysler 300 with California plates for "several marked lane violations" on the Ohio Turnpike. A drug-sniffing canine alerted to the vehicle, and a search revealed 165 pounds of cocaine in the vehicle.
Minnesota State Patrol has sights set on 'Super Speeders'
As the weather heats up, drivers tend to put their lead foot on the pedal. Last year, Minnesota state troopers stopped more than two dozen drivers going more than 120 miles per hour. The worst offenders were young men. The top speed: 157 miles per hour. Minnesota Department of Transportation cameras captured exotic sports cars speeding on Interstate 394, even passing school buses. A state trooper clocked the group over 100 miles an hour. “The problem I have is when you get out onto a busy congested highway and start driving like that, putting other people at risk, somebody is going to die, and I don’t want to see that happen,” said the trooper to one of the drivers in dashcam footage. That was 2016, and drivers have not slowed down. “Holy buckets man, you were cruising. Did you see how fast you were going?” said a trooper to a driver going 137 miles per hour. From drivers without a license, to those under the influence going excessive speeds, state troopers have seen it all. “These are high rates of speed. Dangerous, dangerous rates of speed,” said Lt. Paul Stricker said. He has pulled over his fair share of so-called “super speeders.” “Somebody that’s traveling much faster than the general flow of traffic. Somebody that’s going to endanger other motorists that are out there. Traveling too fast, coming up on cars fast behind them, weaving in and out of lanes,” Stricker said. He sees speeders all over the metro. It is more common when there are multiple lanes, on loops like I-494 and I-694, and main interstates like I-35W. There a super speeder is typically a driver going above 70. Hundreds across the state topped 90 in 2017, with 30 offenders pulled over for going 120 plus. The most egregious stop of the year was a 34-year-old man going 157 in a 55 mile-an-hour zone. And those were the cars state troopers caught up with. Some try to offer an excuse. “We’ll hear everything from, ‘I’m late for a meeting,’ ‘I wasn’t paying attention,’ ‘I have to go to the bathroom,’” Stricker said. While WCCO was riding along, Stricker caught a driver weaving in and out of traffic, and witnessed other cars putting on the brakes. “Kind of went a little fast coming in and he caught me. Wasn’t trying to deny it, and I should have not been doing that,” said driver Grant Wenkstern. “I think most people realize how fast they’re going, just hoping to get away with it,” Stricker said. “Some of them you have to laugh at. I’ve told people ‘I’ve heard that one.’” But when it comes down to it, it is no laughing matter. The state patrol wants drivers to realize speed can be deadly. It was a factor in 88 fatal crashes last year. Troopers on the move use built-in radar to capture how fast a driver is going. Along the highway, they use a handheld radar to nab a car’s speed. “We’re here to change driving behavior to make it safe for everybody on the road,” Stricker said. At the end of the day, they want drivers to follow the posted speed. Exceeding it can be costly. “Our ultimate goal is for people to get home we want them to get to their destination safely,” Stricker said. We are in a stretch of what law enforcement calls the “100 deadliest days on the road.” It runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. There is extra enforcement on the road. Speeding tickets vary by county, but the cost is typically $110 for going 10 miles over the limit. Fines double at 20 miles over. Drivers can lose their license for six months if they are caught driving 100 miles per hour or higher.