Truck Careens Through Two States Before Cops Shoot Out Tire; Tased Driver Puts Up a Fight

Ronnie Schreiber
by Ronnie Schreiber
truck careens through two states before cops shoot out tire tased driver puts up a

In the made-for-TV movie Duel, a somewhat legendary film for car enthusiasts, Steven Spielberg and Richard Matheson tapped into drivers’ primal fear of being harassed by a malevolent trucker at the wheel of a semi much larger than their own vehicles.

Drivers in Indiana and Michigan experienced a non-fiction form of that fear last week, when a possibly drugged truck driver sideswiped cars as he drove erratically for almost 50 miles before police shot out one of the truck’s driving tires. The driver then punched a police dog and it took a number of officers to corral and restrain him even after he was tasered.

Around 8:30 p.m. last Thursday, May 26, Indiana State Police started receiving cellphone calls from drivers on eastbound Interstate 94 near Portage, Indiana. The drivers all reported a metal-hauling semi hitting construction barrels and sideswiping cars.

By the time Michigan State Police managed to stop him, the driver of the truck had traveled 48 miles from the time of the first reports. That highway is the main route between Chicago and Detroit and at that time of the evening, traffic is still pretty heavy as drivers sweep around the southern tip of Lake Michigan. It was fortunate that nobody was injured in the incident, according to

Troopers seized what they suspect were narcotics from the driver, a California man driving for the Tokay Line of Lodi who hasn’t identified. After being taken into custody, he was transported to a St. Joseph, Michigan hospital where he suffered what Patrick Boyd, assistant district commander at the Michigan State Police Paw Paw post, described as a “serious” medical condition. Boyd said, “Based on his behavior we suspected that he may have been under the influence,” but it’s not clear if the medical condition or his erratic driving was related to drug use.

After reports came in to the Indiana State Police, the ISP located the semi about 35 miles west of the Michigan state line and started their pursuit. The ISP also notified their colleagues in Michigan, who in turn notified local police along the route to get construction workers off of the road.

Michigan State Police deployed two “stop sticks” in their attempt to halt the truck. Shawn Martin, police chief of Baroda Lake Township, was in the process of deploying a third when the officer had to dive over a cable barrier when the truck headed straight for him.

During the incident a number of MSP patrol vehicles were forced off the road. The agency said that in a construction zone between Bridgman and Stevensville, the 18 wheeler hit a number of vehicles and construction barrels and swerved at police cars while driving through a closed third lane.

At some point, the right front tire of the truck was shredded, I’m guessing by the stop sticks. A couple of miles beyond where it almost hit Chief Martin, one of the truck’s left side drive wheels was shot out by a MSP trooper firing his rifle from the passenger seat of a chasing police car. The truck slowed down and attempted to exit the Interstate. It jackknifed near the top of the ramp and came to a halt, about 48 miles from the location of the first reports, near Michigan City, Indiana.

The driver refused to exit the stopped vehicle, so a police dog from the Berrien County sheriff’s department was sent into the truck cab. The K9 tried to clamp its jaws on the driver, who punched it hard enough to send it falling out of the truck, forcing officers to taser him. Despite the shock, he continued his struggle with the officers. Baroda-Lake Township police officer John Hopkins, whose dashcam recorded the chase, said it took four or five officers to get him out of the truck, restrained and handcuffed.

The driver hasn’t yet been charged with any crimes but police expect him to be arraigned on multiple felony charges once he is discharged from the hospital sometime this week.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view over at Cars In Depth. – Thanks for reading – RJS

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  • Gmrn Gmrn on Jun 03, 2016

    Nobody wants to be in his shoes, including the driver. He was driving the rig barefoot. Citation for sure.

  • Brn Brn on Jun 04, 2016

    Holy carp! The popular media wants us to hate cops. They have to go from speaking at an elementary school to dealing with a situation like this in a professional an controlled manner. That takes range that most of us don't have.

  • Analoggrotto By the time any of Hyundai's Japanese competitors were this size and age, they produced iconic vehicles which are now highly desirable and going for good money used. But Hyundai/Kia have nothing to this point that anyone will care about in the future. Those 20k over MSRP Tellurides? Worn out junk sitting at the used car lot, worn beyond their actual age. Hyundai/Kia has not had anything comparable to the significance of CVCC, 240Z, Supra, Celica, AE86, RX-(7), 2000GT, Skyline, GT-R, WRX, Evo, Preludio, CRX, Si, Land Cruiser, NSX etc. All of this in those years where Detroiters and Teutonic prejudiced elitists were openly bashing the Japanese with racist derogatory language. Tiger Woods running off the road in a Genesis didn't open up a moment, and the Genesis Sedan featuring in Inception didn't matter any more than the Lincoln MKS showing up for a moment in Dark Knight. Hyundai/Kia are too busy attempting to re-invent others' history for themselves. But hey, they have to start somewhere and the N74 is very cool looking. Hyundai/Kia's biggest fans are auto Journalists who for almost 2 decades have been hyping them up to deafening volumes contributing further distrust in any media.
  • Bd2 Other way around.Giorgetto Giugiaro penned the Pony Coupe during the early 1970s and later used its wedge shape as the basis for the M1 and then the DMC-12.The 3G Supra was just one of many Japanese coupes to adopt the wedge shape (actually was one of the later ones).The Mitsubishi Starion, Nissan 300ZX, etc.
  • Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old '56 Chevys eventually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
  • Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)