NC House Speaker ‘grateful’ to officers following traffic incident

RALEIGH — North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Kings Mountain) is grateful to the law enforcement officers who were on hand when the vehicle he was traveling in was rammed by an apparent drunk driver.

Moore said he, Rep. David Willis of Union County and Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Gurley were returning to Raleigh after a series of events in Wilson. The speaker’s security officer was driving the SUV westbound on U.S. Highway 64 near Knightdale around 9:30 p.m. when it was rammed from behind at least three times, Moore told reporters at the Legislative Building.

Moore praised his driver, Officer Jason Perdue, for controlling the SUV after it was struck and taking action on the road, which has a 70 mph speed limit. Moore said the truck stopped in the left lane of the highway roughly 5 miles later. No one in the SUV was hurt, Moore spokesperson Demi Dowdy said.

“Thank God we’re all just all right,” Moore said, adding he saw nothing to indicate that he or his vehicle was targeted due to politics or his role in government. The General Assembly-owned Chevrolet Tahoe’s license plate resembles a private owner’s plate, with none of the specialized numbering that lawmakers’ personal vehicle plates receive. The SUV didn’t appear severely damaged.

“Many of us have been rear-ended by a car, unfortunately, in the past,” Moore said. “But when you’re moving at highway speeds and another car approaches you at a higher rate of speed and it hits the car … you can imagine the kinds of things that are going through your mind at that point and its intention.”

Moore’s spokesperson said he is very grateful to the State Highway Patrol (SHP) officers involved in swiftly handling the situation and particularly grateful to NC General Assembly Police Officer Jason Purdue, who was driving the state-owned Chevy Tahoe vehicle at the time.

“On Thursday, Feb. 23, at approximately 9:43 p.m., the State Highway Patrol responded to a hit and run collision on I-87 near mile marker 9 in Wake County,” according to a statement from the SHP.  “The incident initially took place on I-87 near mile marker 13 when a 2000 Chevrolet S10 pickup truck struck the rear of a 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe multiple times as both vehicles were traveling in the southbound lanes.”

SHP’s statement also says that Purdue activated his emergency lights to signal the pickup truck to pull over, but the driver failed to stop, resulting in Perdue having to give chase.

The driver of the pickup, James Matthew Brogden, 38, of Goldsboro, was arrested after finally coming to a stop near mile marker 9. SHP indicated their investigation indicated that “impairment was a factor with regard to Mr. Brogden,” and that EMS had responded to the

By A.P. Dillon

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