Traffic stops are never a pleasant experience, but once in a while we catch a break and the fear of insurance rates going up is replaced with a stern warning. For most people, getting pulled over means taking extra care with the act of driving. And for cops, that’s the intended result.
But there are also instances where an officer with the best of intentions can inadvertently overlook an impending risk resulting in dire consequences. That’s exactly what happened for one cop.
According to the officer, in addition to excessive speeding, running a red light and nearly hitting the officer’s patrol car, the driver almost struck someone riding a bicycle. “I’m stopping you for reckless driving,” he explained to the couple in the car.
Despite the laundry list of traffic violations, the officer took pity on the young couple who claimed to be on their first date. He only issued the driver three citations, and even disregarded the fact that the man was illegally driving with a provisional license.
“Almost killing each other is no way to start on the first date,” he said as the passenger apologized profusely. That chilling assertion would have much more meaning in the minutes that followed.
He sent the young couple on their way, telling the pair to “get home safe.”
Just 14 minutes later, bodycam footage showed that same officer arriving at the scene of a fatal crash between a very familiar car and a semi-truck. “This is the same kid. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh,” the officer said, clearly recognizing the vehicle and the occupants from his traffic stop just minutes earlier.
According to a forensic expert that went over the event, the vehicle was driving at 124mph and the passengers experienced upper torso amputation. He was 24 and she was 27.
Though the officer was not injured, he was put into an ambulance, likely for psychological evaluation, with the understanding of how greatly something like this could impact his mental and well-being.