An Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper is being hailed a hero for helping stop an accused wrong-way driver on a Valley freeway.
On Friday Dec. 16, trooper Neil Osborn was just minutes from wrapping up his shift for the night when he heard a call about Sheldon Dick, 37, allegedly driving the wrong way on Loop 101.
Osborn was in the area of the wrong-way driver, however, he was on a motorcycle which offered him minimal protection during such a potentially dangerous situation.
“You have to figure out a plan where you aren’t going to get hurt so you can do your job and get the person to stop,” Osborn said.
First, Osborn did a traffic break to slow down other cars – then he went after the suspect.
“I tried to get his attention with my lights and sirens but he slowly drove past me,” he said.
After 10 miles of following the driver, Osborn was eventually successful in getting Dick to pull off the road but described him as being “kind of out of it."
Captain Tim Mason of the Arizona Department of Public Safety described Osborn’s actions as “heroic.”
“I’m so proud of this trooper,” Mason said. “The wrong-way driver literally drove by him before he was able to get him to stop.”
However, Osborn said the incident could have been much worse.
“He could have injured or killed someone,” Osborn said. “We are fortunate that no one came into contact with him until we did.”
Dick was charged with aggravated DUI and endangerment in connection to the incident.
Authorities were making a push that night to stop impaired drivers. Thirty four people were arrested in the west Valley during their drunk patrol efforts.