CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. - A North Carolina State Highway trooper was struck by a rolling vehicle that belonged to an accused drunk driver overnight, Catawba County authorities said.
The incident happened around 1:45 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1 along I-40. NC State Highway Patrol said a 2017 Hyundai Elantra was traveling west on I-40 and failing to maintain lane control. At Exit 121, the vehicle ran off the roadway, collided with a ditch, and traveled up an embankment.
While troopers worked to remove the driver from the vehicle, the vehicle rolled backward and the open door struck one of the NC troopers.
Trooper Z.E. Beam received minor injuries and was transported to the hospital. He has been treated and released.
The driver, Samuel Alan McMillin, 42, of Conover, was arrested and charged with driving while impaired, failing to heed light or siren, and no operators license. The results of a blood test are pending. McMillin was placed under a $5,000 secured bond at the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office Detention Facility.