High-Speed Chase Ends in Head-On Collision


On December 4, 2020, a high-speed pursuit unfolded on I-40 in Franklin County, Arkansas, involving Arkansas State Police Trooper James Ray and a suspect identified as Brian Starnes, 31, from North Carolina. The chase began when Starnes, driving a black Chevy Impala with spray-painted windows, sped off during a traffic stop initiated by the Arkansas Highway Police (ArDOT).

Trooper Ray and an ArDOT officer pursued Starnes for several miles. Ray executed a Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) maneuver to force Starnes off the road. However, Starnes regained control and re-entered the interstate, this time driving in the wrong direction.

Faced with a split-second decision, Trooper Ray positioned his vehicle head-on in front of Starnes in an attempt to stop him. The two vehicles collided, ending the pursuit. Both Trooper Ray and Starnes were cleared of any life-threatening injuries by FIRE/EMS dispatched to the scene.

Starnes was arrested and is currently incarcerated in the Franklin County Detention Center. He faces multiple charges, including felony fleeing, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, driving with a suspended license, and refusal to submit to arrest.

Trooper Ray later told 40/29 News that he would make the same decision again to protect the public, stating, "There's people out there that do way more heroic things than I did. I stopped somebody from going the wrong way on the interstate."