North Carolina SRO saves the day, slams patrol car into speeding pickup truck during chase near school

'He's our hero for the day,' the sheriff said of the school resource officer

A North Carolina school resource officer is being lauded as a hero after he helped stop a high-speed chase near an elementary school. 

"I praise him for his actions. He's our hero for the day," Swain County Sheriff Curtis Cochran said of officer P.D. Hampton, according to News 13. "He was going to protect those kids even at his own risk of danger to himself."

Hampton was on his way to work on Wednesday when he heard a report about a Chevrolet truck going down a highway the wrong way at nearly 100 miles per hour. 

He then joined other deputies with the Swain County Sheriff’s Office in their pursuit of the truck, which occurred near West Elementary School. 

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West Elementary School in Swain County, North Carolina. 

West Elementary School in Swain County, North Carolina.  (Google Earth )

"As I pass West Elementary School, I see the headlights of this vehicle in my lane," Hampton told News 13. "I try to block him in, and he rams me head-on trying to get by me."

The driver, later identified as Reginald B. McMahan, managed to get free and tried to drive through the bus entrance to West Elementary.

But Hampton saved the day by slamming his patrol car into the truck, preventing it from going closer to the school.

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Swain County, North Carolina, Sheriff's Office patrol cars. 

Swain County, North Carolina, Sheriff's Office patrol cars.  (Swain County Sheriff's Office Facebook)

"When you think about worst-case scenarios, this is absolutely one of those," Swain County Superintendent Dr. Mark Sale told News 13 of the truck potentially making it onto school property. 

"There was probably some panic in the hearts of the people that were at the school, because it was very early in the morning, but not a reaction such that we had to lock down the campus," Sale added. 

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McMahan was taken into custody by deputies and charged with ​​eluding arrest with a motor vehicle, failure to heed light or siren, assault with a deadly weapon and reckless driving to endanger, according to the outlet.

"He did appear to be very impaired. He had, at several points, thrown stuff out of the vehicle. We did find ammunition in the truck, but a weapon is not found," Hampton said.

McMahan is currently being held at the county jail on a $10,000 bond. Officials do not believe he was targeting the school during the incident. 

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"I’ve never been one for applause," Hampton said. "I think it’s something that the majority of our officers would do, if not all of them."