TFC Corey King
Public Affairs Officer
Kentucky State Police
Post 16, Henderson
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Kentucky State Police Trooper Struck by Fleeing Perpetrator
Date of News Release: 01/13/2008
(Henderson, KY) - At approximately 11:30 PM on Saturday, January 12, 2008 State Police Trooper Chris McKee received a call from his wife who was traveling on the Natcher Parkway in Ohio County. Mrs. McKee advised that a white van was traveling North on the parkway. The driver of the van was traveling at approximately 60 MPH and was throwing items from his vehicle. Trooper Mckee was Southbound on the Natcher Parkway and intercepted the suspect vehicle in Daviess County. Trooper Mckee observed the subject throwing items from his vehicle and attempted to stop the van near the 65 mile marker. The van's driver refused to stop and continued northbound on the parkway.
Troopers Jon Whittaker and Trooper Matt Wise stopped in the median near the 70 mile marker on the Natcher Parkway. Trooper Whittaker was given permission to deploy his Stinger Stop Stick. The troopers had their emergency lights activated and were not blocking the roadway. Trooper Whittaker and Trooper Wise were standing in the grassy median near the rear bumper of Whittaker's cruiser when the white van dove into the median. The white van traveled between the two parked cruisers. The van struck Trooper Whittaker's 2007 Ford cruiser on the passenger side. The van barely missed Trooper Whittaker, and struck Trooper Wise. Trooper Wise was knocked approximately 60 feet. The van continued to travel north in the grassy median where it finally stopped. The driver of the van identified as Eric P. Johnson exited his vehicle and ran on foot. Trooper Mckee continued to chase Johnson. After a brief struggle Johnson was arrested.
Eric P. Johnson (4509 Sugar Grove Road Bowling Green, KY; Age 38; Operating a white 2001 Ford van ) was charged with Assault 1st degree, Wanton Endangerment 1st Degree, Resisting Arrest, Fleeing and Evading Police 1st degree, Criminal Mischief 1st Degree, and Possession of controlled Substance 1st Degree. Johnson was also charged for an outstanding Arrest warrant for Synthetic Narcotic Possession. The warrant was held by the Hardin County Sheriff's Office and the warrant was dated September 2004. Johnson was treated and released from the Owensboro Medical Health System. He was lodged in the Daviess County Detention.
Trooper Wise was transported by Daviess County Ambulance to the Owensboro Medical Health System. Trooper Wise as of 4:55 AM was in surgery.
Photographs of the scene are below.