Trooper's quick thinking prevents possible disaster on the roads
WEST MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A 20-year veteran of the Michigan State Police may soon be out of a job following an I-Team investigation, but a new video is shedding a different light on the trooper.
Video from St. Joseph County back in April shows Trooper Tim Wagner pulling an 18-year-old girl out of her car at gunpoint after a brief high-speed pursuit.
Wagner says his training and the recent murder of another trooper guided his decision to pull his weapon. The prosecutor said he could find no criminal behavior in Wagner's actions, but urged MSP to end the trooper's career.
Now, Newschannel 3 has uncovered shocking video of another incident involving Wagner less than a week later.
This incident took place before Wagner's suspension, but sources tell Newschannel 3 he was given orders to have no contact with the public. Wagner was only to drive to and from his post. The video shows that Wagner completely ignored that order, and at least one family is very glad he did.
The video shows a 1992 Buick, forcing cars off the road left and right. At 55 miles an hour, Trooper Wagner decides he has to act.
After narrowly missing another car, Wagner makes contact with the vehicle, likely preventing a head-on collision.
Samuel Gibson was the man behind the wheel of the Buick that day, his wife Marjorie in the passenger seat. Newschannel 3 sat down and watched the footage with him.
"Do you have any recollection of any of that video you just watched?" asked Newschannel 3's Jared Werksma.
"No," said Gibson.
Samuel Gibson is 85 years old, he says he was diagnosed with diabetes about eight years previously and says the harrowing experience on the roads was the result of dangerously low glucose levels.
Gibson says he'd never had an episode like the one he experienced that day.
After nearly two minutes of close calls and bumping fenders, Trooper Wagner finally gets Gibson off the road, Gibson floors it one last time before Wagner forces his car into some street signs, finally ending the ordeal.
"Your wife was pretty hysterical?" asked Newschannel 3's Jared Werksma.
"They said she couldn't even move," said Gibson.
"You think it's fortunate the way that it ended?" asked Newschannel 3's Jared Werksma.
"Oh my!" said Gibson. "Such a wonderful job by the state troopers and everybody else."
Gibson told Newschannel 3 that he feels that he owns his life, his wife's and quite possibly the lives of others to Trooper Wagner. We told Gibson about the traffic stop five days previously and how Wagner's decision to draw his weapon likely ended his career. We also asked him his thoughts on the matter.
"This day and age he'd have been a damn fool if he didn't pull his gun out," said Gibson.
We contacted MSP to check on the status of Wagner's administrative investigation. We have not yet received a response.
The lieutenant at Wagner's post says the trooper has not returned to duty at this time.