Photo of Trooper Wooten via N.C. Department of Public Safety
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - A trooper with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol was seriously injured after his motorcycle was struck by another vehicle while pursuing a suspect, officials said.
Authorities said NC Trooper Wooten went into a four-hour surgery on Tuesday and remains on a ventilator. The crash happened about 9:30 a.m. Monday, July 22 at the intersection of Tuckaseegee Road and Queen City Drive in west Charlotte.
"I got very emotional and actually started crying because it looked like a pretty bad accident with the officer," witness Lindsay Stokes told FOX 46.
According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, the trooper was trying to conduct a traffic stop when he was hit by a pick-up truck passing through the intersection. Another witness at the scene told FOX 46 that the trooper was thrown about 10-feet into the air.
"He was thrown, the bike was pretty smashed. I saw I don't know if it was his helmet or somebody else's that was several yards away from the officer, it just looked pretty bad," Stokes said.
A couple of miles away K-9 units blanketed the Camp Greene neighborhood near Ashley Park Elementary School.
A source tells FOX 46 the search in the wooded area of Camp Greene was related to the search for the driver of the car accused of causing the wreck that injured the trooper.
Police say the suspect vehicle is a late 1990s model Toyota Avalon driven by a black man wearing prescription glasses.
Certainly anybody that would take off from the police is a danger and we want to make sure we can find them and interview them and find out exactly what happened
Anyone with information is urged to contact Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.