Wrong-way driver near Phoenix goes 37 miles on Interstate 17
PHOENIX – A wrong-way driver went nearly 40 miles on a freeway north of Phoenix early Monday before authorities were able to stop the car without injury.
The driver, 28-year-old Andrew White, and a passenger were taken into custody on Interstate 17 near New River, about 35 miles north of downtown Phoenix. Authorities used spikes to stop the car.
A spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety said in an email to KTAR News 92.3 FM that White had gotten on the freeway in Yavapai County shortly before 2 a.m., heading southbound in northbound lanes.
A deputy from the Sheriff’s Office stayed parallel with the vehicle until more help arrived.
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Deputies from Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office joined the pursuit.
After the tires were spiked, the car finally stopped 37 miles from where it had gotten on the freeway.
“It’s a miracle, and thankfully nobody got injured, no crashes occurred,” Trooper Jonathan Montes told KTAR News.
“So definitely we’re very fortunate that they were able to get the vehicle stopped without any accidents.”
White was booked on felony DUI-related charges.
DPS said they had responded to 42 wrong-way driver collisions this year as of Sunday. Seven of the crashes involved fatalities, with 17 deaths.
Also, 101 wrong-way drivers had been arrested for DUI in 2019.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jeremy Foster contributed to this report.