NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio- The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained exclusive video showing what it took to stop a wrong-way driver on one of the area’s busiest highways.
Monday, the I-Team revealed what happened in the wee hours of the morning on 480. 911 calls started pouring in about a wrong-way driver.
Now, North Olmsted police have released video showing their encounter with the driver.
One camera shows a patrol car heading in the right direction with headlights shining back from the opposite direction.
An officer slowly brings his cruiser to a stop in front of the wrong-way driver. That car stops. But as the officer gets out on foot, the wrong-way driver makes a u-turn on the highway and takes off. You hear the officer on foot yell, “Hey, hey, hey, what are you doing? Stop. Stop!”
That sparked a short chase.
Then officers got the car to pull over.
You hear police say, “Turn the car off for me. Turn it off.” And, “You know how you ended up here? How you ended up going the wrong way?” The driver said no, and she said she had been coming from a nightspot downtown.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol tested the driver, Ashley Rookard of Parma. A trooper found she had been driving drunk at more than twice the legal limit.
Traffic cameras didn’t pick up where that driver first got on the highway going the wrong way. Later, by phone, she told the I-Team she had left work downtown. She claims someone slipped something into her drink, so she can’t remember much about how this happened.
This, just the latest in a series of wrong-way drivers caught on camera on area highways.
Police said a wrong-way driver caused a recent crash on I-90 that left three people dead.
Ashley Rookard also said she feels lucky to be alive after this.
Clearly, this latest case could have been deadly.
Officers can be heard on the video saying, “But she’s hammered.” And, “She’s a wreck. Like, ‘Really? I was going the wrong way?’”
Rookard has been charged with driving drunk, reckless operation and driving with a suspended license.
Her driving record shows she has other traffic convictions in her past including one for driving with no license.