Grifton police officer out of hospital; driver charged for not moving over

GRIFTON, N.C. (WITN) – A police officer is out of the hospital after state troopers say he was seriously injured during a traffic stop Friday afternoon.

The Highway Patrol said the crash happened on Highway 11, just inside Lenoir County around 4:15 p.m Friday.

Sgt. Jared January said the Grifton police officer, identified as Corporal Don Sutphin, had stopped a vehicle in the southbound lanes, just before the intersection with Harvey Rouse Road.

The police cruiser and the offender had pulled off on the right side of the highway. While the officer was outside his cruiser and speaking to the driver another southbound car struck the officer, according to the trooper.

He said the car failed to pull over to the left lane in accordance with North Carolina’s move over law for emergency vehicles.

William Edwards, Jr., was charged with felony failure to move over for an emergency vehicle and driving while driver’s license revoked. The 28-year-old Princeville man was jailed on a $5,000 bond.

Corporal Sutphin was released from ECU Health Medical Center on Saturday, according to Grifton police.

The move over law has been in effect since 2002. Troopers say on a multi-lane highway, drivers are not only required to slow down but to also move into the lane not nearest to the emergency vehicle.

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