Wrong-way driver makes it 36 miles on I-17 before forcibly stopped by police
Police: ‘Driver failed to stop despite all four tires being deflated’
A Michigan man managed to drive at least 36 miles on the wrong side of Interstate 17 before law enforcement forced him to stop by spiking his tires early Monday morning, Sept. 9.
The wrong-way vehicle was reported at about 1:48 a.m. traveling southbound within the northbound lanes of I-17 at milepost 271, near Camp Verde, according to Bart Graves with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS).
Within minutes of the report, a Yavapai County Sheriff's Office (YCSO) deputy paralleled the wrong-way vehicle, a 2017 black Dodge Ram pickup truck, Graves said. AZDPS troopers, along with deputies from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, responded and spiked the vehicle at milepost 234, near New River.
“The wrong-way driver failed to stop despite all four tires being deflated,” Graves said.
It took several more minutes of driving on flat tires before the truck slowed and came to a stop, Graves said. The driver, Andrew Michael White, 28, of Holly, Michigan was arrested and booked into the Maricopa County Jail for aggravated driving under the influence and related charges.
Fortunately, there were no collisions or injuries during the police chase, Graves said.
“At that time of night/morning there is relatively light traffic on Interstate 17 in that part of the state,” he said. “I also believe the Yavapai County Sheriff's Deputy driving parallel with his lights on may have helped warn other motorists to take evasive action.”