SkyFOX captured a wrong-way driver scrambling to get out of a traffic jam, and that led to a FOX 8 I-Team investigation. We found other cameras showing many more drivers also breaking the rules of the road.
It happened Tuesday during the morning rush. A big back-up developed on 271 north and on the ramp from route 8.
SkyFOX recorded one driver getting out of the line of stopped cars, driving the wrong way to the bottom of the ramp, almost hitting another car, and then crossing over route 8 by driving over the grassy median.
We found Macedonia police then got a call about drivers dangerously crossing over the median on 271 even with traffic coming at full speed from the other direction. A highway camera for the Ohio Department of Transportation shows multiple cars at a time crossing illegally to turn around and get out of the traffic jam. Macedonia police then rolled up, found more of those drivers, and started handing out tickets.
One driver told an officer, "I did pull up my Google map. And I was like, another hour, so I decided to just go a different way.”
Meantime, that wrong-way driver disappeared before police got there.
The state department of transportation says most wrong-way drivers are drunk or high or somehow confused. The state has even formed a task force to investigate the problem. ODOT has also started putting up wrong-way signs with flashing lights.
But what happened here all comes back to impatient drivers.
Macedonia police officer Chris Neal said, "It's important to not do it because people pull out; there could be traffic. They're cutting across four lanes of traffic, and it could cause a serious accident."
ODOT says for 2017 statewide, the agency recorded 36 wrong-way incidents, 27 crashes, 9 without a crash, 16 fatalities, 39 injuries. And so far this year, 28 wrong-way incidents, 20 crashes, 8 without a crash; 10 fatalities, 21 injuries.
Those figures don’t count the mysterious driver captured on camera Tuesday morning during rush hour.