Tuesday, September 19th, around 2:00 PM, I had an unsettling experience. Driving on FM 813, about three miles from US 287, I came upon a State Trooper SUV traveling 25-30 MPH, repeatedly weaving over the center line, then over the shoulder line. I felt the driver must have been impaired and called 911. I gave the tag number to the Waxahachie dispatcher and a detailed account as I followed the vehicle, concerned for the safety of the driver and any other person in his path. I stayed with the dispatcher. He never exceeded 40 MPH. Most of the time it was 30-35 MPH, though his driving remained erratic. That section is zoned at 55 MPH except for several curves. The call was ended at one point, dispatch assuming he would soon enter Waxahachie.
At US 287, he entered the highway toward Ennis. I called 911 and reported the change in direction. A different dispatcher answered, necessitating I repeat the entire story while following the trooper. He was driving 50-55 MPH in the 65 MPH zone, still crossing over the lines repeatedly. About three miles further, he pulled behind a white van going 50 MPH, following him until a flatbed truck came up in the lane to the left of them. Seemingly unaware of the semi, he pulled over in front of it so close, the driver had to slam on his brakes. It took me a minute or so to get around the van and catch up to a point where I could see the trooper again.
When I got within sight of the race track, he pulled over into the median turnaround in the divided highway to go back the other way. I pulled in behind him. Not waiting for traffic to clear somewhat, he the drove out into the fast moving flow of traffic, not allowing sufficient safe space to do so, and drove toward Waxahachie. I waited for an opening and followed him. He pulled into the next turnaround, reapeating his actions of before, and went back toward Ennis. I continued to follow, but it took me so long while to trying to catch up, I could barely see him. I lost sight of him and had an appointment in Waxahachie, so I left.
I realized later he may have suspected I was following him before he pulled behind the white van and jumped in front of the truck. I feel he confirmed it by U-turning twice before continuing toward Ennis. Perhaps he considered me some sort of threat?
Someone called later, saying he was the trooper’s supervisor. He said the trooper had said the reason he drove slowing and weaving on FM 813 was because he was looking for property to buy, that I must have been mistaken, and that the trooper “did not drink”. I hadn’t said at any point that I thought the officer was drunk, only that he seemed “impaired”. I told him that his actions were not consistent with a person looking for property, and on 287, he appeared impaired and evasive. I said that any reasonable trooper that was followed would probably have pulled me over, calling for backup, and I would have had some explaining to do. The caller made no attempt to answer any of the other actions I described. Later, I wondered if the supervisor was actually the person who’d called, and not the trooper in question. It just seemed odd. My whole purpose in following and reporting came from a concern for public safety.