Wrong-way driver on I-5 captured by troopers

KENT, Wash. -- A 35-year-old man was arrested Tuesday morning after driving the wrong way on I-5 for several miles, the Washington State Patrol said.

Troopers in Tacoma first got the report that a Geo Metro was going north in the southbound lanes, said Trooper Julie Judson. A motorcycle trooper responding to the scene was nearly struck by the driver, Judson said.

The trooper turned and headed north in the northbound lanes to follow the car, which was traveling at speeds up to 80 mph, Judson said. The trooper reported the driver stayed in the HOV lanes then simply swerved onto the shoulder to miss any oncoming car.

As the driver went into King County he could be seen waving a black flag or T-Shirt out the window, Judson said.

When the driver approached the SR-516 exit in Kent, he noticed troopers ahead of him were doing a rolling slowdown. The driver exited on SR-516 and was eventually PIT maneuvered by troopers at 30th St. SW, knocking the Metro onto a grassy embankment.

Judson said the driver was arrested at the scene and booked into the King County Jail for investigation of several crimes, including alluding a police officer.

"It's scary because not only is it dangerous to have a head-on vehicle but it's so hard to get in front of it and get into position to get it off the roadway," Judson said.

Judson says investigators are awaiting tests to determine if he was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

No one was hurt.