How a state trooper stopped a wrong-way driver coming right at him: I-Team

I-Team

CLEVELAND (WJW) – Video released to the FOX 8 I-Team shows how a state trooper stopped a wrong-way driver coming right at him. It led to the kind of arrest we almost never see happen.

This week, we’ve put a spotlight on wrong-way drivers and how often they crash or get away.

Video from the Ohio State Highway Patrol puts you in the cruiser with the trooper as a car comes at him head-on. We have video showing trouble even before that driver hit the highway.

It happened in the early hours of Tuesday morning and started on the ramp to Interstate 480 from State Road.

Video from the Ohio Department of Transportation shows a driver plowing through a wrong-way sign. That driver then got on the highway going the wrong direction, almost hitting other cars.

A caller to 911 said, “His headlights were off. I almost smashed him.”

Another caller said, “They’d be going east but they’re on 480 west. they got on at State.”

Meanwhile, a trooper spotted the car as it was not moving. He circled back around, but as he did, the video shows the car coming directly at him in his lane. He swerved to get out of the way.

Then, he chased it even as it went the wrong way down the highway.

Moments later, he used his cruiser to stop that car by crashing into it three times.

Once he got the driver out of the car, he told her, “You were going the wrong way, ma’am, on the freeway.”

She responded with, “I was not going the wrong way.”

It’s not the first wrong-way driver on I-480, just the latest. Weeks ago, we showed you a wrong-way driver on this highway captured on camera for miles, but never found by police.

If these drivers don’t cause a crash, they often disappear by turning around or turning off unless police happen to be right there.

“The video really depicts, shows the split-second decisions we face on a daily basis,” Highway Patrol Sgt. Ray Santiago said.

He pointed out that the trooper had to decide what would be the fastest and safest way to end what was happening.

“It’s a controlled manner of getting the vehicle to spin out and to stop. What he did in this situation was at least get them facing in the right direction,” Santiago said.

The highway patrol identified the woman arrested as Teria Buford. Troopers said she’d been driving drunk.

We checked her driving record and found she already has more than a half-dozen traffic convictions. That includes a prior conviction for impaired driving.

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