With a bit of quick thinking and a lot of nerve, North Carolina State Trooper Cody Thao likely averted a major disaster on the highway.
According to Fox News, Thao used his patrol car to block an exit ramp that an alleged drunk driver was speeding up, thus stopping the driver from entering an interstate going the wrong way.
(Thao is one of the multitude of heroes who risk their lives in the line of police duty each day. Despite this, you rarely hear their stories from the establishment media, which tends to prefer the “defund the police” narrative. Here at The Western Journal, we’ll always back the blue. If you do, too, please consider supporting our mission by subscribing.)
While the actual incident happened on April 8, the video was only released by the North Carolina Highway Patrol on Wednesday.
According to WRAL-TV, Thao was responding to a call for help during a pursuit in the early morning hours. The suspect had been driving of speeds over 100 miles per hour, WRAL reported.
Just as Thao arrived, however, the suspect began driving down the exit ramp off of Interstate 40, going the wrong way.
As the suspect’s vehicle sped toward him, Trooper Thao veered to his left, stopping it with his own patrol vehicle — the hard way.
We’re taking you through this wild video put out today by @NCSHP tonight with the trooper whose action saved lives.
Cody Thao: “All the credit goes out to the other troopers who inspire me on a daily basis especially here in Wake County” #abc11 #ncshp pic.twitter.com/PRwF9TwauE
— Josh Chapin (@JoshChapinABC11) May 5, 2022
The suspect’s vehicle broadsided Thao’s patrol car; the trooper, amazingly, wasn’t hurt.
#NEW: (WRAL) – Trooper Cody Thao pulled across the lane in front of a vehicle moving at more than 100 mph, using his car as a barrier. Joshua Ray Bibey, 26, of Raleigh, plowed into the side of Thao’s squad car and came to a stop. https://t.co/lQDXPHqymx
— Louie Tran (@louie_tran) May 4, 2022
“Once I saw the vehicle, I just decided to stop the chase right there,” Thao said, according to Fox.
“This is what we signed up to do, this is what we agreed to do.”
Suspect Joshua Ray Bibey, 26, was subsequently arrested, Fox reported. He’s been charged with driving while impaired.
And, though Thao put himself directly in harm’s way, he didn’t call himself a hero.
“All the credit goes out to the other troopers who inspire me on a daily basis especially here in Wake County,” he said, according to Fox.
Col. Freddy L. Johnson, Jr., commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, was willing to give Thao quite a bit more credit.
“I could not be prouder of Trp. Thao and his quick decision to stop the wrong way driver, his actions most undoubtedly saved lives,” Johnson said in a statement.
“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.”
Trooper Cody Thao responded to a call in early April to assist with the pursuit of a vehicle speeding the wrong way. Thao drove his patrol car into the path of the driver, preventing him from entering I-40 the wrong way and injuring others. More on this at https://t.co/kX21KVnobo pic.twitter.com/fpGo8HcER4
— NC Highway Patrol (@NCSHP) May 5, 2022
This all came less than a year after Thao joined the force.
“Before that, I actually worked at a Tractor Supply,” Thao said. according to Fox.
“I don’t have any prior experience with law enforcement. I’ve always had a servant’s heart, and I’ve always wanted to help people.”
And in this case, the state trooper definitely helped someone, given what would likely have occurred if the suspect had gotten onto the highway.
“He was either going to hit me or hit someone else coming eastbound on I-40,” Thao told WRAL.
It’s rare that we say this, but: Thank heavens the driver hit the state trooper’s vehicle.
More importantly, thank heavens there was a state trooper with the ingenuity, bravery and skill to stop this driver the only way that he could.
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