An Arkansas State Police trooper’s cruiser was launched into the air after chasing down and pitting a fleeing pickup truck.
The video, including dashcam footage from the police cruiser and other police vehicles in pursuit, shows the cruiser attempting a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) maneuver in an effort to push out the truck’s back wheels and push it into a nearby ditch during a high-speed chase. The video was reported last month by the local ABC News affiliate KHBS. The April 10 incident occurred near Fort Smith, Ark. when Trooper Michael Shawn Ellis gave chase to the suspect, Justin Battenfield.
In an instant, Battenfield’s pickup truck went from being a fleeing vehicle to a launch ramp for the police cruiser. The pickup truck rolled over on its back as the cruiser drove across its undercarriage. Watch the full video below:
Footage from the Ellis’ point of view shows the truck flipping over moments before the cruiser goes airborne and snaps through a nearby lamp post.
Footage from other police vehicles provides a fuller view of the crash and shows the police cruise flying through not one, but two lamp posts.
Battenfield, 34, reportedly drove at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, had run through a stoplight and had ignored police signals for him to pull over. A readout of Ellis’ speedometer on his dashcam indicated he was moving at 109 miles per hour as he and Battenfield’s vehicles flipped over.
Both vehicles came to a stop upside down.
“As soon as there’s an opening on the highway, get him stopped,” said one supervisor over police radio, as the crash occurred.
Another officer responding to the supervisor’s call to stop the truck, noticed the crash and said “okay, we’ve got him stopped and then go ahead and start EMS,” referring to a call for an ambulance.
Battenfield reportedly died from injuries sustained in the crash. Ellis was hospitalized and later released.
At the time, a spokesperson for the Arkansas State Police told KHBS they were investigating why Battenfield drove at high speeds and why he did not stop.