I-5 driver goes 17 miles in wrong direction



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Posted on January 11, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 11 at 6:05 PM


TACOMA, Wash. -- Amazing. A miracle. Odd. 

That’s how drivers and police described a woman’s trip on I-5 early Wednesday morning.

According to the Washington State Patrol (WSP), a 60-year-old Olympia woman drove nearly 18 miles north, in the southbound lanes of I-5 around 2 a.m.

She nearly ran into Rick Ingraham, a truck driver.

“It’s probably a miracle if you ask me,” said Ingraham, who had just moved out of the fast lane after drivers in the opposite direction on I-5 flashed their lights at him. “No sooner did I do that did a white little sedan come flying by me.” 

Troopers said the woman topped speeds of 100 miles per hour during her drive.

WSP stopped the woman by closing I-5 at the main gate for Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

A spike strip punctured one of her tires.

It appeared to investigators she had been drinking and taking prescription medication.

“She couldn’t even grasp what had just happened, she was amazed by it,” said Washington State Patrol Trooper Guy Gill.

A man at the woman’s house in Olympia said she does not know or remember what happened.

Investigators said the woman has no prior convictions.