High-speed pursuits have long been controversial.
On one hand, you have a criminal running from the police that could be armed and dangerous. The criminal may have committed terrible crimes and may be willing to commit more. It is important to get this driver into custody and keep citizens safe. On the other hand, by engaging in the pursuit, there is a chance that the police’s actions could lead directly to someone innocent getting hurt by continuing to push the criminal they are chasing to the limit, possibly forcing a wreck. It’s a tough call and no-win situation.
Unfortunately, in Raymond, ME recently, the latter happened.
When an officer from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office in Maine attempted to pull over Dale Tucker to question him about a domestic situation that had been reported, Tucker, driving a 2007 Chevy Cobalt, decided to flee.
The video picks up towards the end of the chase, which went on for a few miles; the crash occurred three miles from where the deputy first tried to get him to stop.
The sheriff’s office laid out spike strips in Tucker’s path. Spike strips are generally seen as a safe way to stop someone as the spikes don’t cause the tires to blow out, but instead cause them to slowly deflate, ultimately bringing the car to a halt.
But that’s not what happened. Instead of running straight over the spikes, Tucker swerved and that was the worst thing he could have done.
A spokesman for the sheriff’s office, Lt. David Hall, explained why they laid out the strips: “The spike strips does not cause someone to lose control of their vehicle; they deflate the tires very gradually so they can keep control over the vehicle. Him crashing was not caused by the spike strips, but was caused by him overcorrecting.”
That overcorrection turned into a massive crash that YouTuber Tyler Bisson caught on camera. Bisson was filming from his car which the police had directed to pull to the side of the road while they deployed the spikes.
In the video, you can see Tucker try to dodge the spikes, then overcorrect and careen dramatically in Bisson’s truck and into the car in front of Bisson, injuring the three people in that car, ages 91, 82 and 60. The three were taken to a local hospital with serious injuries. Bisson and his passenger did not appear to be seriously injured.
Did the police make the best choice here? Should they have deployed the strips here or maybe try to do it in a less crowded area? Tell us what you think!