Woman drives 17 miles wrong way on I-5; no crashes

Published:

 

TUMWATER, Wash. (AP) -- The Washington State Patrol says an impaired motorist drove about 17 miles the wrong way on Interstate 5 at speeds as high as 100 mph before troopers stopped her. Amazingly, while several drivers reported near-misses, there were no collisions.

Trooper Guy Gill says the driver got on the freeway about 2 a.m. Wednesday near Tumwater, heading north in the southbound lanes. Driving at speeds ranging from 38 mph to 100 mph, she evaded several spike strips. Troopers closed the lanes in Tacoma and sent patrol cars down to intercept her, lights flashing and sirens blaring. Gill says the driver finally stopped "bumper to bumper with a patrol car."

He described her as a "calm, 60-year-old female who had no idea where she was." The Olympia woman was arrested for investigation of DUI. Gill says additional counts are likely. Her blood alcohol reading showed her to be above the .08 legal intoxication threshold in Washington.