***Updated*** by Raul Garcia, Public Information Officer, on June 24, 2016, at 1:25 a.m.
Trooper Rodriguez was released from the hospital on June 23, 2016.
The wrong-way driver, 46-year-old Barbara Christine McLaughlin of Phoenix, Arizona, was booked into jail for aggravated assault and criminal damage. Impairment has not been ruled out.
Phoenix, Ariz. — State Trooper Pedro Rodriguez responded to a DPS radio broadcast report of a wrong-way pickup truck traveling southbound in the northbound traffic lanes of State Route 87, near the Bush Highway. Trooper Rodriguez encountered the wrong-way truck and intentionally collided his patrol vehicle with it, in a near head-on collision, in order to stop it.
The female wrong-way driver then attempted to drive away from the scene after the initial impact. Trooper Rodriguez struck the truck with his patrol vehicle a second time and was able to stop it completely. Trooper Rodriguez rendered immediate aid to the wrong-way driver.
Trooper Rodriguez and the suspect were transported by ground ambulance to local hospitals for treatment of their injuries. Trooper Rodriguez is a 10-year Department veteran.
The suspect vehicle is a red Dodge full-size pickup truck.
This incident occurred on June 23, 2016, at approximately 2:12 p.m.
Although the investigation is in the preliminary stages, impairment is suspected.
AZDPS Director, Col. Frank Milstead stated, “The heroic actions taken by Trooper Rodriguez prevented innocent motorists from being injured or killed by this wrong-way driver. This is the level of dedication that our troopers have in working to make Arizona’s highways safe.”