I-TEAM video shows wrong-way driver roll on local highways for miles

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CLEVELAND (WJW) -- The FOX 8 I-TEAM is investigating a wrong-way driver captured on camera traveling for miles and miles on some of the area’s busiest highways Yet, somehow, that driver, who put innocent people in danger, managed to get away.

Lately, police get so many calls for wrong-way drivers, but this case was extreme.

It happened just before 4 a.m. last Saturday.

Video shows a driver in the fast lane going the wrong way, heading straight for innocent drivers. The video shows other cars swerving out of the way.

It went on for miles and miles from the Jennings Freeway to I-71 to Dead Man’s Curve to the Shoreway.

Ohio Department of Transportation highway cameras recorded much of the incident.

Witnesses called police and, for a while, a tow truck going the right way stayed side by side with the wrong-way driver.

Finally, the driver turned around in the middle of the highway on I-90 near East 55th.

An incident report shows, as this all developed, at least half a dozen witnesses called 911. The report shows the driver went the wrong way for about twelve minutes and Cleveland Police scrambled several patrol cars to the highways, but somehow that driver did not get stopped by officers.

Among those on the highway to encounter the wrong-way driver was Crystal Sender, a young mother heading home from work.

“I saw a car coming toward me. All I could think about was just get out of the way.” She said, “Thank God, no one got hurt. But I don’t understand how it went that long.”

And Carolyn Jones told the I-TEAM, “I was scared. I was shaken up. I really was.”

Police radio traffic shows dispatch trying to get patrol cars to the area of the wrong-way driver.

One recording shows, “Adam 21, is there any way you could head that way? I guess it’s a female. She’s highly intoxicated.”

And later on the police recording, more talk about trying to find the wrong-way driver.

“It’s absolute chaos up here, right now. I guess the last place we saw it was the Second (District).”

Cleveland Police say they generally don’t follow-up on traffic incidents unless there’s a crash or someone is hit. But as of late Wednesday, the Chief’s office was checking on any follow-up in this case.

Records show police had an address for the owner of the vehicle that had been going the wrong way and officers planned to go to that address.

The I-TEAM went there Wednesday, and we got no answer.

Police say they take these kinds of cases seriously and respond. It's not clear though, how this driver managed to disappear.

Crystal Sender told us she had a friend killed by a wrong-way driver, and this experience made her think back.

She said, “You never think you’re going to be in that situation, and it’s definitely scary when you are.”

More on wrong-way drivers, here.

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