WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — Wyoming Public Safety officer Tony Jacob was driving south on US-131 early Thursday morning when he saw headlights coming at him.
As the sedan passed Jacob going north in the southbound lane around 2:45 a.m., he was forced to weigh his options and make a decision in an instant.
He turned his cruiser around and also began traveling the wrong way in an effort to warn oncoming traffic and stop the wrong-way driver.
Dashcam video shows Jacobs catching up with the wrong way driver in about 30 seconds.
“He caught up to the car, got alongside it, and noticed that the driver appeared to be sleeping. With his lights and siren on, he wasn’t getting any response from the driver,” said Wyoming Public Safety Lt. Eric Wiler.
The video shows nine vehicles scramble to get out of the way of the two vehicles speeding the wrong way.
“That’s always a dangerous situation. That’s was something that’s in the back of our minds as well. Now we’re putting two cars going the wrong way. This situation need to be stopped immediately,” Wiler said. “At that point, (Jacob) made the decision to try to force the car off the road.”
It took a nudge just behind the post between the front and back driver’s side door to spin the wrong way vehicle around, and bring it to a safe stop less than a minute after the chase began.
Police say it doesn’t appear drugs or alcohol were involved. The driver told officers he’d fallen asleep behind the wheel after being up for the last 40 hours.
He couldn’t remember where he got on the expressway so police don’t know how far he traveled.
“I think all of us have been in that position where we’ve been on long drives, didn’t get a good night’s rest the night before and catch ourselves kind of nodding off a little bit,” Wiler said.
But caffeine doesn’t help and turning up the radio with the window down doesn’t do the trick either, according the Wiler.
What you need is what you’re lacking: sleep. If you’re traveling with someone, Wiler advises letting them take the wheel for a while.
“If that’s not possible, pull over to a well-lit area, like a rest area, and at least take a 20-minute nap,” he said.
The driver was ticketed for reckless driving.