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Dramatic Efforts Stop Runaway SUV After 911 Call About Stuck Gas Pedal

Dramatic Efforts Stop Runaway SUV After 911 Call About Stuck Gas Pedal

A runaway BMW SUV tore down a Florida interstate for almost 40 miles Monday, but the motorist managed to keep his cool while authorities made several attempts to stop him, telling a 911 dispatcher calmly "my gas pedal is stuck", according to the Florida Highway Patrol and dramatic recordings.

"I think my gas pedal is stuck on my vehicle and I'm on I-95", Joseph Cooper, 28, said in a frantic call to 911 as his auto bolted down the highway in Indian River County on Florida's east coast.

The driver, Joseph Cooper, was alone in his SUV on I-95 near Vero Beach just before 1 p.m. when he lost control, he told emergency dispatchers.

The Fellsmere Police Department released dash-cam images that show one of its officers, later identified as Sgt. Scott Newsom, deploying spike strips on the interstate in a third attempt to stop the SUV with the strips.

Dispatchers asked Cooper if his brakes were working.

Cooper could be heard cursing and shouting at people to get out of the way while the dispatcher informed him that authorities were on their way to help. This fail-safe software means that if the vehicle detects that both pedals are depressed, the on-board electronics will reduce engine power so that the driver may stop safely. A trooper turned around at mile marker 112 and waited on the left shoulder for the SUV to pass by, troopers said.

Cooper: "I'm switching right lanes right now".

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Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

And a 28-year-old Palm Coast man was behind the wheel. "I need traffic assistance", he said.

Troopers drove next to him and warned other drivers around him.

So Sgt. Scott Newsom posted up at mile marker 153 and waited for his cue to throw stop sticks in front of Cooper's auto, a black BMW SUV. Two tries with the sticks got the vehicle down to about 60 miles per hour after blowing out a couple of tires.

Troopers were happy they didn't have to do a pit stop after the stop sticks. "That lets the air out of the tire slowly so the auto can come to a stop safely".

Like a scene from an action movie, the Florida Highway Patrol used sticks to stop a runaway vehicle barreling down a highway.

The vehicle was towed away, while Cooper was taken to the Indian River Medical Center with chest pain.

His vehicle was towed by Florida Towing.