Suspected DUI driver on I-5 attracts 14 911 calls

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by ZAHID ARAB / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on January 2, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 2 at 7:16 PM

LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- A suspected DUI driver's erratic driving had others fearing for their safety along a nearly 10-mile stretch of Interstate 5 Wednesday.

Just before noon, police received 911 calls from 14 different drivers.

Callers reported that the 32-year-old driver from Auburn was weaving in and out of lanes, hitting center barriers and traveling at inconsistent speeds in his Dodge Durango SUV.

Call recordings released to KING 5 by the Washington State Patrol showed tense nerves for drivers near the man.

“He’s been over on the shoulder, back into the lane and then crossed over into the left hand lane he’s just all over the place,” said one driver.

Callers first noticed the man’s troubling behavior near I-5 South at Gravelly Lake.

“Out of the lanes, in the lanes, slowing down, speeding up. It’s like a stray bullet, it’s going to hit something eventually,” said Trooper Guy Gill, Washington State Patrol Spokesman.

According to police, the man exited I-5 at the Nisqually exit then got back onto the freeway to go northbound.

He eventually crashed his SUV near the Bridgeport Way exit.

“My husband and I commented not even a minute before it happened that we’re going to see this guy on his lid,” said a concerned caller.

Witnesses told police the man then darted through oncoming traffic.

“This guy is trying to leave the scene! He’s going across the lanes, hey get back here!” exclaimed a caller while on the phone with a 911 dispatcher.

According to witnesses, the suspected drunk driver hopped a fence and ran into Springbrook Lane Apartment building in Lakewood.

“I came out and saw him running. He was stumbling, he was pretty drunk,” said Luis Pulido, who works at the complex.

Police say no one was seriously hurt thanks to quick action by other drivers.

“It was awesome, they did exactly what we asked them to do,” said Trooper Gill.

The 32-year-old was arrest on suspicion of DUI, hit and run and driving with a suspended license. He’s expected in Pierce County District Court Friday or Monday.

Police in Pierce and Thurston County totaled 16 DUI arrests on New Year’s Eve.

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