Indiana trooper stops out-of-control van


May 21, 2010
McHenry Co, IL

An Indiana state police trooper today used his squad car to stop an out-of-control van and then began treatment for the driver who was found unresponsive behind the wheel.

Only minor damage was evident after an Indiana trooper used his squad to stop an out-of-control van. (Indiana state police photo)

Trooper Dale Turner was stopped at a light on U.S. Rte. 20 just west of the Lake/Porter County Line about 2:52 p.m. when he saw the van headed westbound in the eastbound lanes with an apparently unresponsive driver, according to a news release from the Indiana State Police.

Turner activated his lights and went in pursuit. He managed to get his squad in front of the vehicle, allowing the van to hit into the rear of his squad as he began braking.

Both vehicles came to a sliding stop off the road to the south, and Turner was able to get out the unresponsive driver -- who showed no pulse -- and begin CPR, police said. Two workers from a nearby Indiana Department of Transportation facility, Bret Mannes and Jim Salkeld, arrived on the scene and used an Automated External Defibrillator on the man.

The Gary Fire Department responded and took the driver -- identified as James Meinart, 29, of Hobart, Ind. -- to North Lake Hospital in Gary, where he was in critical condition this evening.

Meinart is a driver for Lincare Incorporated out of Merrillville, and was transporting oxygen tanks in his properly placarded van, police said. He had called his company from the van complaining of chest pains just before he became unresponsive.

Turner was not injured, and the squad car and van received minor damage, police said.

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