A woman injured in a 2015 traffic crash is suing the Kansas Highway Patrol over the use of “stop sticks” on a fleeing vehicle.
Amy Alexander suffered life-threatening injuries when a speeding pickup truck, disabled by the tire-puncturing device, slammed into her car on U.S. 69, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court.
Alexander, of Louisburg, Kan., suffered numerous injuries including a torn aorta, shattered pelvis, lacerated spleen, broken nose and broken ribs in the February 2015 wreck.
The trooper who deployed the stop sticks and the manufacturer of the device are also named as defendants in the suit.
According to the lawsuit, the incident that led to the crash began in Linn County, Kan., when the pickup truck driver began driving the wrong way in the southbound lanes of U.S. 69.
A deputy with the Miami County Sheriff’s Office began to pursue the truck, according to the suit.
A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper then got involved in the pursuit and set up a roadblock ahead of the wrong-way pickup truck.
The trooper used his patrol vehicle to block the right lane of the highway about a mile south of Kansas 68. He then deployed the stop stick device in the highway’s left lane, according to the suit.
The trooper then stood in the road with his arms up to stop oncoming traffic.
Amy Alexander was one of the motorists who saw the trooper and stopped. Her car was in the left lane, but she was unable to pull into the right lane because of other stopped vehicles.
The pickup truck, driving an estimated 90 to 100 mph, hit the stop sticks, which punctured one of the tires, causing the driver to lose control, the suit alleges
The truck then hit the passenger side of Alexander’s car.