SPRINGFIELD, MO (11/08/17) - We’ve seen them more and more. Over the years, thousands of people each year are killed in high speed police chases.
“I have seen a lot of car theft increases, burglaries, and a lot of people with warrants that don’t want to go to jail so they will try to run from us hoping that we won’t pursue them or chase them," says Greene County corporal James Craigmyle.
To stop high pursuit chases officers will throw out stop sticks. “Anytime that we have someone that is fleeing from us in a vehicle we will always try and use the stop sticks if possible," says Craigmyle.
The passengers in the chased cars account for nearly half of all people killed in police pursuits according to an analysis done by USA Today.
2016 was the deadliest year on American roads in nearly a decade and with stop sticks this helps save countless lives. Now, within these are spikes so whenever a car runs over it it’s going to stop it and help the car to not flip over.
Police reports show that, on average, 329 people a year are killed in high speed chases. That’s nearly one per day.
And Craigmyle says he’s had some pretty close calls while out on patrol. "I had a vehicle that was being chased by the highway patrol that he swerved over to intentionally hit me. That happens frequently. They’ll try to swerve towards us so we can’t throw the stop sticks in front of their cars.”
Training is done annually because Craigmyle says knowing how to use a stop stick, properly, helps minimize the risk of accidents and injuries.