INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. -- Florida Highway Patroldash camera video shows what it took to stop a runaway sport-utility vehicle on the Treasure Coast Monday afternoon on Interstate 95.
Joseph Cooper, 28, told 911 dispatchers his 2003 BMW X5 was stuck traveling upwards of 100 mph. He could not get the vehicle to slow down.
From Martin County to Indian River County, law enforcement officers stayed with him on I-95, trying to clear traffic and keep drivers from coming onto the interstate.
Finally, Fellsmere police were able to throw spike sticks that ultimately helped end the near 50-mile run.
Cooper called 911 near mile marker 101. By the time he got to the area of mile marker 138, Florida Highway Patrol troopers threw stop sticks twice, but only punctured two of his wheels.
“They took out at least two tires that I’m aware of but the vehicle continued to travel north,” said Fellsmere Police Chief Keith Touchberry.
That’s when FHP told Fellsmere police to try for a third time.
“So, it was a matter of sitting up at the interstate and just waiting for the vehicle to get up here,” Touchberry explained.
Dash camera captured a Fellsmere police officer tossing out the spike stick, puncturing the remaining two wheels.
“It immobilized the final two tires and about a mile later the vehicle came to a stop,” Touchberry explained, when law enforcement pulled a PIT maneuver to stop the SUV.
Touchberry said Cooper did the right thing in a stressful situation.
“He needed help and asked for it and law enforcement was there for him for three counties.”
FHP has still not said what caused the accelerator to stick.
Cooper has not responded to WPTV’s request for a comment.