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‘He was either going to hit me, or someone else’: Moment heroic North Carolina trooper turns his squad car sideways to stop driver fleeing cops from speeding wrong-way down the highway

  • State Highway Patrol trooper Cody Thao, 28, said he acted instinctively while he was in the heat of the moment
  • Suspect Joshua Bibey, 26, was arrested and charged with a DUI after the crash
  • Thao positioned his car strategically so that it would have more chances of being hit in the rear rather than in the front
  • Thao’s brave act comes less than a year after he joined the force from his job at a local Tractor Supply store
  • ‘I’ve always had a servant’s heart, and I’ve always wanted to help people,’ he said 

A North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper heroically placed his squad car sideways to stop a wrong-way driver from hitting anyone else on a local highway.

Joshua Bibey, who was later charged with a DWI, was fleeing police at speeds of up to 100mph through Johnson County and Raleigh after he refused to be pulled over in April.

Dash cam shows that Bibey took the exit onto the Interstate-40 – going the wrong way into incoming traffic – when he ran into Trooper Cody Thao.

Realizing he only had a split-second to stop the alleged drunk driver and protect fellow motorists, Thao, 28, turned his car and blocked the road. Bibey smashed into the trooper at 50mph.   

‘He was either going to hit me or hit someone else coming eastbound on I-40,’ Thao explained to WRAL.

‘I’ve always had a servant’s heart, and I’ve always wanted to help people,’ added Thao, adding that he left his job at a Tractor Supply to become a state trooper nearly a year ago.

Dashcam footage from North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper Cody Thao shows the moment the law enforcement agent encounters the intoxicated driver's car (pictured) in April

Right before the crash, Thao drove across his lane and into the drunk driver's way while his squad car faced sideways so that only it's rear could be hit

Dashcam footage from North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper Cody Thao shows the moment the law enforcement agent encounters the intoxicated driver’s car (pictured) in April

Officer Cody Thao, 28, has been a trooper with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol for only seven months after quitting his day job at Tractor Supply

Officer Cody Thao, 28, has been a trooper with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol for only seven months after quitting his day job at Tractor Supply

Thao's squad car was badly damaged on the sides of where rear passengers sit. The trooper said he didn't think twice about purposely put himself in the path of a car in the middle of a high-speed pursuit

Thao’s squad car was badly damaged on the sides of where rear passengers sit. The trooper said he didn’t think twice about purposely put himself in the path of a car in the middle of a high-speed pursuit

The car's passenger door on the right-hand side was smashed into pieces after the crash

The car’s passenger door on the right-hand side was smashed into pieces after the crash

Thao’s decision to take the hit and to risk his life prevented the allegedly intoxicated driver from potentially harm other drivers on the road, commander of the State Highway Patrol, Col. Freddy L. Johnson said.  

‘I could not be prouder of Trooper Thao and his quick decision to stop the wrong way driver. His actions most undoubtedly saved lives,’ Johnson said. 

Joshua Bibey, 26, was driving under the influence when he crashed into Thao's patrol car in April. He had been fleeing from police at the time of the incident, and was charged with a DUI afterwards

Joshua Bibey, 26, was driving under the influence when he crashed into Thao’s patrol car in April. He had been fleeing from police at the time of the incident, and was charged with a DUI afterwards 

In the aftermath of the incident, Thao revealed that troopers aren’t normally trained to act upon someone being chased on the wrong side of the highway so he had ‘no choice’ but to stop the drunk driver before something worse would occur.

The trooper came out unscathed from the collision. Bibey’s car only hit the rear of the patrol vehicle after Thao had strategically rotated it to diminish his chances of getting hit himself.

‘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. 

‘His willingness to put himself in harm’s way is representative of the lifesaving work our members do each day,’ Johnson added. ‘Placing others before ourselves is not just a saying among the law enforcement profession, it’s a reality of what we do for the betterment of the communities we serve.’ 

The tires on Thao's squad car have also taken a hit as the one on the rear right-end is flat due to the incident

The tires on Thao’s squad car have also taken a hit as the one on the rear right-end is flat due to the incident

'I've always had a servant's heart, and I've always wanted to help people,' Thao said, pointing out his reason for joining the force

‘I’ve always had a servant’s heart, and I’ve always wanted to help people,’ Thao said, pointing out his reason for joining the force

Bibey, who lives in Raleigh, was formally charged with a DWI after being taken into custody. He was taken to WakeMed for evaluation after the crash.

The crash he caused is far from it being the first time he’s been in trouble with the law. 

Dating back to 2011, most of Bibbey’s charges are related to drug possession. 

He was arrested several times for owning cocaine. In March, he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and with a felony for resisting arrest and fleeing with a motor vehicle.

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Source: Daily Mail

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