HAMMOND, LA (WAFB) - A dramatic crash, involving a man suspected of being under the influence of heroin while driving and a Louisiana State Trooper, was caught on camera by a private citizen.
The crash happened shortly after noon on Saturday, January 21. Tennessee resident, Kyle Nadler, was driving on I-12 W when he witnessed a vehicle driving recklessly.
"It was just absolute madness and craziness," said Nadler.
Nadler and several other drivers called 911 and alerted police to the erratic driving. Nadler and a second vehicle stayed behind the swerving truck to prevent oncoming traffic from getting too close to the dangerous situation.
"They exemplified exactly what we would ask the motoring public to do. They stayed calm, they were able to give a good vehicle description," said Dwight. "They were very vigilant. They did the right thing and calmly."
911 operators were able to dispatch a trooper to the right location, who positioned his unit ahead of the truck on the shoulder. As the truck approached the trooper, it swerved again and crashed into the back of the trooper's unit. The driver of the truck, Bradley Burch, 35, is suspected of driving under the influence of heroin. It's an issue officials say is a growing problem.
"Impaired driving, or drugged driving, is certainly on the rise," he said. "This happened at noon on Saturday. This is a call that we get every day on our roadway."
Burch was arrested and booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail for DWI, reckless operation, and driving with a suspended license. The trooper involved sustained minor injuries and is resting at home.
Nadler says of everything he witnessed, he was most impressed with the injured trooper following the wreck.
"He got right out, he conducted himself in a professional manner," said Nadler. "He took down the gentleman and took care of him and immediately tried to get everyone to move onto the shoulder and clear the roadway to let traffic keep going."
Meanwhile, it's Nadler and the other witnesses that LSP Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson says deserves thanks. Edmonson says the public plays a big role in helping troopers keep everyone safe.
"The public, we have to work together. If the public trusts us, they'll listen to us. They'll call in information, give it to us, and we'll follow up. We're all about public safety, we're all about protecting our greatest assets, and that's our citizens," said Edmonson.
If you see a dangerous situation on the roadway, you can call *577 to be connected to the nearest LSP troop.