WHP TROOPER INJURED RESPONDING TO SHOTS FIRED CALL
Images & text courtesy Wyoming Highway Patrol
Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper Joel Eldred was involved in a crash near Glenrock on June 30th. Trooper Eldred is a 12 year veteran with the Patrol and is stationed out of Glenrock.
Trooper Eldred was responding emergent to a “shots fired” call in Douglas with both the emergency lights and sirens activated on his Dodge Charger patrol car. While passing eastbound traffic on US 20/26 at mile post 163.63, a 2002 Jeep SUV traveling east turned left into a commercial business driveway in front of the passing patrol car. The Jeep was driven by 49 year old Jamestown, Louisiana resident Robin Belgard. Trooper Eldred applied emergency braking and steered his patrol car into the north ditch to avoid the Jeep. Despite Trooper Eldred’s efforts to avoid a crash, the two vehicles still collided as the patrol car entered the ditch. After entering the ditch, Trooper Eldred’s patrol car rolled a minimum of four times. The Jeep spun around on the highway and came to rest facing west in the westbound lane of US 20/26.
Investigators are crediting Trooper Eldred’s seat belt use, ballistic vest use, vehicle safety design (including airbags) and the patrol car’s prisoner transport safety cage for minimizing the injuries Trooper Eldred sustained from the crash.
Robin Belgard was treated for her injuries and was released from the hospital on June 30th.
Trooper Eldred had attended WHP sponsored training the day before this crash occurred titled Below 100. The Below 100 program is a nationwide training initiative being given to Troopers and other law enforcement agencies in Wyoming to minimize the amount of officer involved deaths across the United States. Wearing your seat belt, wearing your ballistic vest and preparing for traffic to turn left in front of officers during emergency response are three main points emphasized in the Below 100 program.
No citations have been issued from this crash at the time of this update. Trooper Eldred is expected to be discharged from the hospital today (July 1st) and to make a full recovery from his injuries.