OHP Lieutenant Crossed Paths With Chase Suspect Before Tragedy

Monday, July 17th 2017, 10:29 pm
By: News 9

An Oklahoma Highway Patrol lieutenant was struck by another trooper's vehicle during a chase, Friday night.

Lt. Heath Meyer, 43, is still in critical condition.

Investigators say the chase started as a traffic stop on the I-35 off ramp at Indian Hills Rd., but when suspect D'Angelo Burgess admitted he did not have a valid license, he fled the scene, reaching speeds upwards of 110 mph.

Meyer and another trooper were out of their cars deploying stop sticks near the 27th Street exit in Moore ahead of the chase.

The suspect managed to avoid the road block.

Two troopers trying to avoid the stop sticks collided, and one of their vehicles then struck Meyer, Capt. Ronnie Hampton said.

"Right now, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is going through a tremendous amount of pain," Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Thompson said Monday.

The commissioner added that all involved were inconsolable at the scene of the crash.

The incident happened in a matter of milliseconds, according to the OHP.

"It was unavoidable," Chief Adams explained there was no time for the troopers to react. "The fault in this crash lays totally and completely on the shoulders of the suspect that demonstrated complete disregard."

Adams also pointed to the suspect's prior run from the law.

In June 2016, Burgess weaving between cars near I-240 and May at speeds upwards of 100 mph, according to Oklahoma County Court records.

During that pursuit, Burgess tried to take a corner too quickly and crashed his car.

"Lt. Meyer happened to work that crash, " Chief Adams said Burgess was arrested at the scene.

He bonded out in late 2016 and was set for another court appearance on July 31, 2017. 

Burgess allegedly admitted he fled during the traffic stop Friday night because of his outstanding charges.

He was arrested north of the scene and remains without bail in the Cleveland County Jail.

Sonny Ramirez, 39, a passenger in the suspect's vehicle was arrested on an unrelated warrant for kidnapping, Monday.

Ramirez is in the Oklahoma County Jail.

Meanwhile, the OHP and community are offering support to the Meyer and his family.

Meyer will have a long road to recovery, according to a gofundme page set up by the Oklahoma Trooper Spouse Association.

So far, the site has raised more than $12k of the $500k goal.