CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - A North Carolina trooper is still in the hospital after he was thrown from his motorcycle Monday afternoon.
Trooper Chris Wooten was trying to pull over a car when he was hit. The 14-year veteran of the Highway Patrol underwent surgery that took about five hours on Tuesday. He is out, and has a lot of people supporting him during this time of uncertainty.
“Anytime you have a member of the law enforcement community hurt it's a reality check. It just reminds you of how dangerous the job is,” a spokesperson for Highway Patrol told FOX 46.
Trooper Wooten is still on a ventilator after having surgery on his vertebrae, according to Highway Patrol.
”I’m hoping and praying everything turns out in the most positive fashion,” Dave Dellinger said.
Dellinger is a childhood friend of Wooten. They went to South Point High School in Belmont, and Dellinger visited Wooten in the hospital.
“I saw that image of the motorcycle at the intersection and I had bad thoughts but after seeing him, it's not great, but I’m encouraged,” Dellinger said.
Police are still looking for the suspect, who they say was wearing prescription glasses while driving a late 90s Toyota Avalon with no hood and a 30-day paper tag.
CMPD says Wooten was trying to pull over the driver of that car for a traffic stop when the driver blew through a red light at the intersection of Tuckaseegee Road and Queen City Drive. Wooten followed, but was hit by a pick-up truck who had a green light and didn't see him.
“At this time he's not out of the woods. We're hoping that this surgery will expedite things and give us a more positive outlook of the future,” Highway Patrol's spokesperson said.
Dellinger says the hospital had to turn a conference room into a waiting area because so many people have been coming to visit Wooten. We’re wishing him a speedy recovery.