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Franklin county trooper named trooper of the year

May 3, 2021 at 2:04 p.m.
Police lights are shown in this file photo.

The American Association of State Troopers has named Trooper James O. Ray, a three-year veteran of Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division, as its trooper of the year.

Ray, 24, is being honored because of his actions during a car chase on Interstate 40 in December, according to a release from the American Association of State Troopers.

Ray was engaged in a high speed chase after being asked to check on a car parked along Interstate 40. The car took off as Ray and another officer approached. The vehicle sped at over 100 mph and was driving erratically during the pursuit, according to the release.

Ray performed a precision immobilization technique on the fleeing vehicle and temporarily immobilized it, but the driver regained control and started driving east in the westbound lanes before he crossed the median and began driving west in the eastbound lanes.

Ray sped ahead of the car, going west in the westbound lane, and stopped eastbound traffic.

Then he aimed his vehicle at the oncoming suspect and waited. As the car was passing in front of him, the trooper accelerated, hitting the front left corner of the suspect's car, disabling both vehicles and forcing them into the median.

Ray arrested the suspect. Neither he nor the suspect suffered major injuries.

Ray will be formally recognized at a national award ceremony later this year.

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