Good Samaritan gets a traffic ticket

Tuesday, February 25th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A Good Samaritan, who was pulling people out of the snow during Sunday's storm, got ticketed by an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright explains that Doug Jones says he was just trying to be a good neighbor and use his four-wheel drive to pull a few people out of the ditch, but he'll have to think twice before he does it again, because now, he's got to pay a $117 ticket.

Doug Jones is a hard-working family man who got a call Sunday from a friend who said his son was stuck and asked Doug for help. So, Doug went to highway 169 and pulled the friend's son out of the ditch. "There was a trooper who pulled up behind us about 150-200 feet and turned his lights on. He never got out, never said anything, so, after we got him out, we unhooked and I left."

Jones says that's when he saw a woman stuck and he pulled her out too, then he saw a couple stuck and stopped to help them. That's when a second trooper stopped, said Doug had been warned about being in the road, so, was now getting a ticket for parking improperly on the road. "I was sitting there thinking that I'm just out here trying to help and getting chastised for it. This is the way I was brought up, to try to help your neighbor and that's what I teach my kids, but I don't know what do to."

Jones said the first officer had not warned him and if he had, he would've listened. "I would've gone home. Case closed. Because that's the other thing I've been taught, to respect the law." OHP couldn't talk about this specific case, but said while they do appreciate Good Samaritans helping out, safety must come first. Trooper Mike Harrell, "If it starts causing problems with vehicles trying to avoid them and running off the road. We appreciate their help, but there's a time and place for you to try to help."

Jones says he didn't like getting the ticket, but, what was worse, was having to drive off, leaving the couple still stuck in the snow. Troopers says keeping people out of the road is for the safety of the Good Samaritans too, they point out tow trucks have lights and safety equipment to make the process safer.

Jones plans to protest his ticket next month in court.