Citizens use cell phones to stop drunk driving suspect on I-5
LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- Officials from the Washington State Patrol say a man in an SUV made a lasting impression along Interstate 5 on Wednesday.
Witnesses say his driving was so erratic that more than a dozen people called 911 to say he seemed drunk and dangerous on the road.
Calls poured in to dispatchers shortly before noon on New Year's Day. Witnesses described a blue Dodge Durango barreling south near Lakewood. One man reported, "He's straddling lanes. He's weaving in and out, up on the shoulder, back in the middle."
Witnesses say the driver clearly seemed out of control, especially when they saw him hit the median barrier and continue on. Troopers say citizens weren't standing for it.
"We ended up getting 14 911 phone calls in all," said Trooper Guy Gill with the Washington State Patrol.
Some drivers were so concerned they tailed the vehicle from a distance.
"So you can still see the vehicle?" one dispatcher asked, and got the response, "Yes. He's ahead of us about 300 meters now."
Troopers say Steven Kinggeorge was behind the wheel, and at some point flipped around to head north. However, investigators say Kinggeorge struck the median again, leaving the SUV disabled. Witnesses say he then tried to escape.
"This guy's trying to leave the scene," one caller reported as he watched the suspect. "He's been drinking. He's going across the lanes. Hey! Get back here!"
Investigators say the suspect dashed from his vehicle across the northbound lanes, jumped a fence and entered a neighborhood, but didn't get far. Troopers caught up to him walking nonchalantly down the road, and quickly placed him under arrest.
State Patrol says a lot of credit needs to go to those citizens who got involved.
"Because of these calls and because of these folks willing to do that, that helped us catch him and get him off the road before something else happened," Gill said.