San Diego, CA – A California Highway Patrol officer helped slow a runaway Toyota Prius from 94 mph to a safe stop on Monday after the car’s accelerator became stuck on a San Diego County freeway, the CHP said.
Prius driver James Sikes called 911 about 1:30 p.m. after accelerating to pass another vehicle on Interstate 80 near La Posta and finding that he could not control his car, the CHP said.
“I pushed the gas pedal to pass a car and it did something kind of funny … it jumped and it just stuck there,” the 61-year-old driver said at a news conference. Sikes said he could smell the brakes burning he was pressing the pedal so hard.
A patrol car pulled alongside the Prius and officers told Sikes over a loudspeaker to push the brake pedal to the floor and apply the emergency brake.
“They also got it going on a steep upgrade,” said Officer Jesse Udovich. “Between those three things, they got it to slow down.”
After the car decelerated to about 50 mph, Sikes turned off the engine and coasted to a halt.