More Details Emerge About The Driver Who Hit Biden's Motorcade

On December 17, 2023, President Joe Biden was visiting his campaign office in Wilmington, Delaware, his first such visit since his campaign relocated there, according to CNN. As he stepped out into the rainy night, someone with a camera (via KCAL News) yelled out a question about his standing in the polls. No sooner had Biden answered than his head snapped in the direction of a crashing sound. The Secret Service hurried the president into an SUV in his motorcade. A man had crashed into one of the protective Secret Service vehicles blocking the street around campaign headquarters.

According to AP, no harm came to the president or his wife who was already in their SUV. But the man who hit the motorcade car kept trying to push into the restricted area. The Secret Service converged around him with their guns drawn, and local SWAT officers later came onto the scene to question the driver. Meanwhile, the incident had no more than a brief impact on Biden's itinerary; he was soon able to depart without further interruption.

It was determined by the next day that the collision had been an accident caused by an unarmed and unharmed 46-year-old Wilmington man who was allegedly driving drunk, and that it had never posed any danger to the president (per the New York Daily News). His name was not immediately released, but it was later confirmed to be James Cooper. He was charged with driving under the influence and inattentive driving, but investigators found that he hadn't known whose car – or, rather, whose protective fleet of cars – he'd accidentally hit.

Social media fretted about the collision

It wasn't only President Joe Biden who was on the scene of his campaign headquarters when the accident occurred. He was there visiting staff during happy hour (per CNN), and reporters were on-hand to ask questions before the accident occurred (per the New York Daily News). When the crash happened, concerns were immediately raised on social media about the response time of the Secret Service.  Some users of X, formerly known as Twitter, who watched the footage of Biden being evacuated felt the Secret Service moved him too slowly and expressed fears about a hypothetical more serious incident.

All of these comments were posted the night of the crash when no details of the investigation had been released. When James Cooper's name was disclosed and the nature of the accident reported, one X account, commenting on a news story describing Cooper's actions and state of mind, expressed relief that he "wasn't drunk enough to not follow orders."